Cerner CEO to step down

By Madison Parry

Just over three years since stepping into the position, Brent Shafer will be exiting the role of chief executive officer at Cerner Corp. The news of Shafer’s departure came at the same time the company’s Q1 earnings were released, which fell by two percent. Shafer will remain CEO until a successor is chosen.

The North Kansas City-based healthcare IT company announced the upcoming exit of Brent Shafer as Cerner CEO on Wednesday. News of Shafer’s departure was released at the same time the company posted is Q1 2021 earnings call. 

In Q1 which ended March 31, Cerner reported $1.39 billion in revenue. This is down two percent from $1.41 billion in Q1 2020. The company attributed losses to COVID-19.

Shafer and Cerner’s board have initiated the process to find Cerner’s next CEO. Cerner’s board has formed a CEO search committee and has hired an executive search firm to assist with the process.

“Cerner is on the right trajectory, with increased financial guidance based on actions we are taking to improve performance,” Mr. Shafer said in a Wednesday news release from Cerner. “With the support of the entire organization, we have simplified the business while implementing a new operating model to make Cerner more efficient and effective. We have strengthened our senior leadership team, including the recent addition of Mark Erceg as our CFO, and I believe we now have the right team assembled to drive our company forward.”

Following the July 2017 death of Cerner co-founder Neal Patterson, Shafer stepped into the role of CEO in January 2018. Shafer will remain CEO until a successor is selected and will also serve as a senior adviser for the company for one year.