Neal Patterson, the chairman and CEO of Cerner Corp., died Sunday, July 9, according to an announcement by Cerner.
Patterson died from unexpected complications that arose after a recurrence of a previously disclosed cancer, according to the announcement.
Cliff Illig, Cerner co-founder and vice chairman of the board, was named chairman and interim CEO.
“This is a profound loss. Neal and I have been partners and collaborators for nearly 40 years, and friends for longer than that,” Illig said in a Cerner news release. “Neal loved waking up every morning at the intersection of health care and IT. His entrepreneurial passion for using IT as a lever to eliminate error, variance, delay, waste and friction changed our industry.”
Patterson also was one of the principals of Sporting Club, the owner of the Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer club that plays its matches in Kansas City, Kansas.
Cerner’s board had a long-standing succession plan in place, and is in the process of selecting a new CEO, according to the Cerner statement.
“One of Neal’s enduring ambitions for Cerner was to build a visionary company, not just a company with a visionary,” Illig said. “He has done that. We have what I believe is the best management team in health IT, and we have associates who think as much about the future as they do the present. As a result, Cerner is well-positioned to have a pioneering impact on the provision of health care in the years to come.”