Richard Webber, M.D., Ph.D. is a fictional character from the ABC medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy. The character was created by Shonda Rhimes and is portrayed by actor James Pickens Jr. since the start of the show in 2005. At the beginning of the show, he is the Chief of Surgery at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital for 12 years. In season 6, he has to resign his position as chief and is briefly replaced by Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). Webber takes his position back as chief in season 7 but eventually resigns again in season 8 in order to protect Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). He goes back to being General Surgery attending, although all the staff still calls him "Chief" due to his history. Later, Richard accepts to become the head of the residency program mentoring the residents. In season 17 Richard is appointed Chief of Chiefs of the Catherine Fox foundation.