Cerner named Google Health executive David Feinberg as its new president and CEO in a leadership shakeup at the healthcare technology company. While Cerner had previously announced CEO and chairman Brent Shafer’s plan to step down during the Kansas City, Missouri company’s first quarter earnings call in May, a financial filing on Thursday said Cerner president Donald Trigg was terminated “effective immediately.”
Cerner also announced that it would be separating the roles of CEO and chairman, naming William Zollars, the former leader of transportation and global logistics firm YRC Freight. as independent board chairman. Zollars has served on the Cerner board since 2005.
Cerner reported revenue of $1.5 billion in the second quarter, a 10% increase compared to the same period last year. However, the company had fallen short of analyst expectations in the first quarter. The stock was up slightly today with a $0.26 percent bump closing at $79.52 and remained flat after hours. The company is estimating full year 2021 revenue growth in the “mid-single digits.”
Feinberg, 59, who will also serve on the board, was named the vice president of Google Health in 2019. It was a newly created role at the global tech giant, meant to bridge various groups from across the company to use artificial intelligence, software and hardware to tackle big health challenges. Prior to Google, Feinberg, who is a medical doctor, was the president and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health, where he “led an operational turnaround, and pushed the use of new platforms and tools,” according to the press release.
Cerner, which has long been synonymous with electronic health records, has been undergoing its own changes as it moved to compete with the changing healthcare technology landscape by making a billion dollar bet on big data, including the $375 million cash acquisition of New York-based Kantar Health, a life sciences data and analytics research firm, earlier this year.
“With his exceptional track record of leading and innovating programs to improve patient care, technology experience, and industry expertise, we believe Dr. Feinberg is the ideal CEO to lead Cerner in its next chapter of growth and success,” Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue University and Cerner board member who chairs the nominating committee, said in a statement.
Trigg, who worked at Cerner for nearly two decades, was named the company’s president in February 2020. The filing said his termination was “without ‘cause,’” and a Cerner spokesperson told Forbes that Trigg was departing by his own choice. Feinberg will begin the new role on October 1, 2021, after which Shafer will remain in a non-executive “senior advisor” role during a transition period.