Cerner looks to chart a course without co-founder Neal Patterson

Cerner Corp. officials took a big breath Monday before embarking on a path forward without co-founder Neal Patterson.

Patterson, who died Sunday at age 67, was lauded as the visionary and innovator who built a powerhouse company “at the intersection of health and technology.”

Patterson, as chairman and CEO, had minimized public appearances for Cerner since his cancer diagnosis was made public in January 2016, but continued to be deeply involved in corporate strategy.

Part of that strategy was having a strong executive team and a succession plan in place. Clifford W. Illig, who co-founded Cerner 38 years ago with Patterson and Paul Gorup, was immediately appointed chairman and interim CEO.

Company president Zane Burke and chief operating officer Mike Nill also have taken more visible public roles in recent months.

Possibly because the company had the past year and a half for the leadership team to grow in visibility, the unexpected timing of Patterson’s death did little to publicly rattle investors.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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