Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman has resigned, and Paul M. Black, former chief operating officer at Cerner, is taking the reins as president and CEO of the company after months of turmoil and speculation on its potential sale.
Black is currently an Allscripts board member. The company, in a late statement on Wednesday, said Tullman, after more than 15 years at the helm, would step down from his positions as CEO and board member. Lee Shapiro will also step down as president, effective immediately, and will serve as a consultant to Black for up to six months.
In addition, Allscripts announced that its board has formally concluded its evaluation of "strategic alternatives" related to the sale of the company. There had also been speculation that Allscripts might go private.
That won't be happening, said Dennis Chookaszian, Allscripts' chairman of the board, on a conference call Thursday morning.
"Over the course of what was a thorough and rigorous process, the board allowed interested parties to conduct due diligence related to multiple alternatives, including a purchase of the company," he said. "However, the board concluded that the best course of action at this time is to develop Allscripts' long-term potential under the direction of a new management team."
Chookaszian paid tribute to Tullman and Shapiro for having been "instrumental in Allscripts' growth over the past two decades," and for putting forth a "vision [for] meaningful and positive change" in a time of rapid health IT adoption.
However, he said, "It's the right time for a new leader."
And Black is the right man for the job, said Chookaszian, pointing to his high-profile in the health IT industry and, significantly, the "double-digit organic growth" he helped foment at Cerner as its chief sales officer: His "experience on solutions and sales side, as well as the client side," is "very, very important."
For his part, said Black, "We're not going to waste any time getting to work. ... We have a good strategy, a robust set of solutions to offer, a broad client base and a very talented team. We're committed to our technology roadmap and to our R&D investment strategy."
To that last point, he said Allscripts is on track to spend some $200 million on research and development in 2013 to develop innovative technologies for "a healthcare industry that is on the cusp of significant change."
That said, he insisted that the company's existing portfolio "is a strong one." Allscripts' clinical and financial tools, care coordination technologies, patient and consumer engagement tools, mobility solutions and analytics platform will be the "critical building block" for "delivering on our client commitments."
But Black conceded that there are issues with integration that are still being sorted out in the years since Allscripts' $1.3 billion merger with Eclipsys in 2010. "We continue to work on solution integration across the care continuum, particularly acute and ambulatory settings," he said.