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Cerner Names Brent Shafer as Chairman and CEO

January 10, 2018 News 6 Comments


Cerner announces that it has hired Brent Shafer as its board chair and CEO, effective February 1. The 60-year-old Shafer had been CEO/EVP of Philips North America from since 2014 and a Philips employee since 2005. Prior to that, he held roles at Hill-Rom, GE Medical Systems, HP, Johnson & Johnson, and Intermountain Healthcare.

Cerner co-founder Cliff Illig, who has held interim roles as CEO and board chair since the death of Neal Patterson in July 2017, will resume his previous role as vice-chairman of the board.

Illig said in a statement, “Brent is a proven chief executive who has helped lead the growth and strategies of a complex, multinational organization over a number of years. He is committed to innovation, with extensive knowledge of healthcare, 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 healthcare. The addition of Brent to our leadership team positions Cerner well for our next era of growth.”

Shafer said in the announcement, “For decades, Cerner has built its reputation on meaningful innovation and driving client value. 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. My commitment to Cerner’s clients, shareholders, and associates worldwide is that we will continue to be the catalyst for real and effective improvement across healthcare.”

According to SEC filings, Shafer will earn a base salary of $800,000, will be eligible for a $1.2 million annual bonus, will be awarded $4 million worth of Cerner shares plus a $3.7 million award to replace his forfeited Philips equity, and will be allowed use of Cerner’s corporate aircraft up to $100,000 annually. He will be paid two years’ salary if the company is sold.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. So, Cerner’s new CEO is hired with a golden parachute! He gets $1.6 million if the company is sold. That’s terrible. It would be far better if he were to get a bonuses based upon customer satisfaction, but, then again, corporations don’t give those types of incentives to CEOs. Sad.

    • $1.6MM is perhaps the lowest golden parachute I’ve ever heard of. It’s two years of salary, which is already crazy low in healthcare. Don’t forget the amount of risk, responsibilities, and obligations CEOs take on as well.

      • Golden Parachute? Not only is it small, this is common practice. Executives of this stature don’t negotiate their own contracts. Lawyers sit at the table head to head protecting their client and protecting the company. Pretty standard stuff.

  2. I’m not suggesting he is not capable, but 60 years old seems a bit long in the tooth. How long do they expect him to serve as CEO?

    • I think that’s pretty par for the course for a big cap company. The last time Cerner had a 29-year-old CEO, it only had 3 employees. (Thanks, Neal, Paul & Cliff.) It’s not a startup anymore; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting someone with large-company experience.

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