Athenahealth CFO out as company looks for new leadership amid financial troubles

CEO Jonathan Bush says new financial leader needed to manage the growing scale of the health IT firm.
By Bernie Monegain
10:57 AM
athenahealth EHR vendor

Cloud EHR company athenahealth on Friday said Chief Financial Officer Karl Stubelis will leave the company to pursue other opportunities.

Jack Kane, a member of the athenahealth Board of Directors and chair of the board’s audit committee, will serve as interim chief financial officer, beginning July 21. The company has launched the search for a permanent CFO.

Stubelis will stay on board through the reporting of athenahealth’s 2017 second quarter results. The call with investors is set for July 21 at 8 a.m.

[Also: Is a takeover of athenahealth inevitable?]

Athenahealth posted a net loss of $1.4 million for the first quarter 2017, and by May 18 this year, the investment firm Elliott Associates had purchased almost a 10 percent share in the company, perhaps signaling an imminent sale or merger.

But the investment firm, led by activist investor Paul Singer, has been quiet in its plans.

“This CFO transition reflects our commitment to ensuring that athenahealth has world-class leaders to support the company and our increased scale and scope,”  athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush said in a statement.

The athenahealth board plans to reconstitute its Audit Committee and to appoint Tom Szkutak as chair.

Bush added he would work with the board, Kane and Szkutak, former CFO of Amazon, to find the best candidate for the CFO position.

Stubelis, who had served as athenahealth vice president and controller, was promoted to senior vice president and chief financial officer in May 2016.

He succeeded Kristi Matus who resigned at the end of May 2016 in response to a change in leadership structure, according to athenahealth.

Kane brings to athenahealth financial heft and more than 30 years of experience as a healthcare technology company CFO and board director. Since 2007, he has been a director and Audit Committee chair. Kane oversaw the company's several acquisitions and growth. He joined the athenahealth board just two months prior to the IPO in 2007.

Kane served as senior vice president, CFO and treasurer of IDX Systems until GE acquired the company in 2006. He had been with IDX for 22 years, guiding the company through its IPO and more than a dozen acquisitions.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
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