The following message from Cerner Co-Founder, Chairman and Interim CEO Cliff Illig was shared with Cerner associates worldwide today:
Happy New Year! I hope your 2018 is off to a great start. In my note before the holidays, I promised that you would get an update directly from me when Cerner’s Board concluded its formal CEO search process and we were ready to make an announcement. Today is the day: the news should be crossing the press wire any minute.
It’s impossible to arrive at this moment without having some thoughts about Neal. As Cerner’s cofounder, Chairman and CEO for more than 38 years, CEO succession was an important topic to Neal, and one about which he gave a great deal of private consideration. We discussed it many times over a number of years; it was a regular topic in his memos and discussions with Cerner’s Board. Neal took a broad view of the succession process, and he encouraged Cerner’s Board not to confine itself to a single conceptual model of succession. He reminded the Board that its objective was not to replace his unique expertise or perspective as founder, but to identify an individual well-suited to lead Cerner and the team in our next phase of growth as a company. Cerner has a great growth story, one we think is far from finished. Given the high performance and strength of our senior executive team, Neal believed that both internal candidates and external candidates should be considered, and that it might be possible to find an external candidate with skills and experience that would be complementary to those of the existing team. After a highly diligent and careful search and evaluation process, that is what Cerner’s Board has done.
Today we announce and welcome Brent Shafer as Cerner’s next Chairman and CEO, effective February 1. You will no doubt read much of this in the press release, but Brent comes to us after serving as CEO of Philips North America, the largest market of global technology giant Philips, a multinational company with more than $28 billion in revenues and more than 100,000 associates worldwide. Philips North America’s health technology portfolio includes a broad range of solutions and services covering patient monitoring, imaging, clinical informatics, sleep and respiratory care as well as a group of market-leading consumer-oriented brands. In his 12 years at Philips, Brent has played a key role in helping a mature and heavily diversified company develop and strengthen its health care focus, increase its profitability and grow its market share in strategic markets. In short, he has helped lead the growth and strategies of a very complex, multi-divisional, multinational organization over a number of years. Based on the future we see for ourselves, Brent makes a great addition to our company and team.
Brent’s home town is Salt Lake City, Utah, and he started his career at Intermountain Healthcare’s Primary Children’s Hospital. Following early roles at Intermountain and Johnson & Johnson, he developed his health care leadership skills through increasingly senior roles at Hewlett-Packard, GE Medical Systems, Hill-Rom and Philips. Brent has spent his entire career working in health care, and he has deep experience developing client relationships based on trust and value.
Brent and his wife Lisa have three adult children, and he has mentioned that some of his passion for health care comes from their experience many years ago of having twins born prematurely. He believes in the power and promise of highly connected systems for health care.
Brent is an approachable leader and effective communicator who has a clear understanding of where health care needs to go. He is a proven chief executive with a tremendous ability to help drive Cerner into the future, but he is also a humble and thoughtful person. Brent has taken a big interest in you, our associates, and he looks forward to getting to know you in the weeks and months ahead.
Brent and Lisa have shared that they are looking forward to relocating to Kansas City and getting involved in the local community. Although Brent is not officially on board until February 1, he’s begun connecting with the senior leadership team, and he is in KC this week to meet a fairly large group of Cerner leaders.
Please join me in welcoming Brent to Cerner. Let’s have a happy and prosperous new year.
All statements in this press release that do not directly and exclusively relate to historical facts, including without limitation those related to our future growth prospects, constitute forward-looking statements. These forward- looking statements are based on the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Cerner's management with respect to future events and are subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties. It is important to note that Cerner's performance, and actual results, financial condition or business could differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Additional discussion of these and other risks, uncertainties and factors affecting Cerner's business is contained in Cerner's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, since the statements speak only as of the date that they are made. Except as required by law, Cerner undertakes no obligation to update forward- looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events, or changes in our business, results of operations or financial condition over time.