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Cerner Appoints Brent Shafer CEO, Chairman of the Board

Former Philips North America CEO Brent Shafer will take over the reins at Cerner next month.

Cerner hires new CEO

By Kate Monica

- Cerner recently appointed Brent Shafer as its new CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors starting February 1.

Brent Shafer previously served as Philips North America CEO. The health IT portfolio at Philips under Shafer’s watch included patient monitoring, imaging, clinical informatics, sleep and respiratory care, and other solutions. Shafer assisted in developing the company’s healthcare offerings to grow its market share over 12 years.

Cerner Co-Founder Cliff Illig will resume his role as Vice Chairman of the Board on February 1 after serving as interim CEO and Chairman of the Board since last July.

“For decades, Cerner has built its reputation on meaningful innovation and driving client value,” said Shafer. “This company’s history of remarkable, sustained growth is testament to a strong leadership culture, and I’m excited to celebrate many new milestones with Cerner associates around the world.”

Before becoming CEO of Philips North America in February of 2014, Shafer served as the CEO of Philips Home Healthcare Solutions from 2010 to 2014. Prior to his work with Philips, Shafer held senior leadership positions at corporations including GE Medical Systems, Hill-Rom Company, and Hewlett-Packard.

“Brent is a proven chief executive who has helped lead the growth and strategies of a complex, multinational organization over a number of years,” said Illig. “He is committed to innovation, with extensive knowledge of health care, technology and consumer markets and an exceptional skill set that complements Cerner’s strong leadership team.”

“Since our founding, Cerner has used the power of information technology to disrupt and improve health care,” continued Illig. “The addition of Brent to our leadership team positions Cerner well for our next era of growth.”

Shafer joins Cerner at a time of explosive growth for the company. Cerner is currently negotiating a contract with VA to provide a commercial EHR replacement for the federal agency’s homegrown VistA system. Cerner is expected to rake in about $10 billion from the deal.

In addition to its continued work with the public sector, Cerner is in talks with Amazon about a potential partnership that will signal Amazon’s entrance into the health data, EHR, and population health management markets.

According to CNBC, the partnership will center on enabling large health systems to access Cerner’s population health management platform — HealtheIntent — at a much higher speed and at a bigger scale. Cerner and Amazon have not provided official comments on the rumored collaboration. 



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