Cliff Illig, Cerner co-founder and vice chair, retires from board

Cliff Illig, who co-founded Cerner, was a longtime company executive and has served as vice chair of the board of directors for most of the last two decades, is retiring from the board.

He plans to pursue “outside interests,” according to a company press release.

Illig founded Cerner, the North Kansas City-based health care IT company, alongside Neal Patterson and Paul Gorup in 1979. He was chief operating officer until 1998, helping oversee the growth of a company that has become one of Kansas City’s largest. Cerner finished just outside of last year’s Fortune 500, ranking 519th among U.S. companies with revenue of $5.1 billion.

After Patterson died in July 2017, Illig took over as chairman of the board and interim CEO for Cerner. He served in those positions until February 2018, when Brent Shafer, a former Phillips North America executive, assumed the roles on a permanent basis.

“It was one year ago that we announced Brent as our new chairman and CEO,” Illig said in the release. “Having had the opportunity to work alongside him during the transition, I have become even more confident in his leadership.”

Illig will remain involved in other business and civic interests, according to to the release. Those include his roles as co-owner of MLS franchise Sporting Kansas City, board member for the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and investor in early-stage ventures.

“It has been my privilege to be part of the growing, highly capable Cerner team that for nearly 40 years has dedicated its efforts to assisting clients in the digital transformation of health care, and in improving the health of populations here and in many countries around the globe,” Illig said in the release.

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