Eckert steps down from Eclipsys' helm; Pead named new CEO

By Eric Wicklund
09:42 AM

R. Andrew Eckert, who as CEO of the Eclipsys Corp. saw the company through a restructuring in 2006 and back to prosperity, is stepping down from the helm of the Atlanta-based company and will be replaced by a well-known industry insider.

Philip M. Pead, who had been chairman, president and CEO of Per-Se Technologies, Inc., a provider of acute care solutions, physician outsourcing services and practice management and claims processing services, until its acquisition by McKesson in 2007, will work with Eckert during a transition period before taking over Eclipsys.
Eckert was named CEO and director in 2005. He said his departure was based on his family ties to California and the realization that Eclipsys “needs a leader committed to operate from Atlanta and usher the company through the next phases of its development.”

“I am proud of what we have accomplished since I joined Eclipsys nearly four years ago,” he said Thursday.  “We have achieved significantly improved KLAS scores for client satisfaction, improved our technology platform and products, diversified the company through acquisitions and built an industry-leading executive team.”

“Given my family ties to Silicon Valley, it was not realistic for me to continue in my role as CEO. I am pleased that Eclipsys is in the hands of an experienced executive who will help the company continue to achieve its business objectives,” he added.

Pead served executive roles at Dun & Bradstreet Software Services and the Attachmate Corp. before joining Per-Se in 1997. He has been a managing partner at Beacon Point Partners since 2007 and was named to Eclipsys’ board of directors on Feb. 17 of this year.

“We are delighted that Phil Pead will become CEO of Eclipsys at this time of great opportunity for the company,” said Eugene V. Fife, Eclipsys’ chairman, who had been CEO prior to Eckert’s arrival. “Our technology platform is robust, our integrated software solutions are well positioned to help our many outstanding clients capitalize on the HITECH Act, and our talented and committed employees are passionate about contributing to the quality of healthcare. Given his experience in the healthcare information technology sector and his track record of performance, value creation and leadership at Per-Se, Phil is uniquely suited to lead our company. As a member of our board of directors, he understands our business, and has demonstrated the knowledge, commitment and vision that give us confidence that he is the right long-term leader for Eclipsys.”

“We thank Andy for his exceptional service to Eclipsys,” Fife added. “Under his leadership, the company established itself as a major enterprise player in the healthcare IT marketplace. He has accomplished a great deal and created a solid foundation for future growth. We are grateful for his many contributions, including his efforts to ensure a seamless transition, and wish him every success in the future.”

When he was named CEO in 2005, Eckert said the company, which offers clinical, financial and management information software, needed to shift its focus from installation to management.

"You have to (provide) the technology, but that's only part of the story," Eckert said at that time. "We're selling a relationship."

Eckert’s hiring was part of a company restructuring that culminated in early 2006 with approximately 100 layoffs and the streamlining of the management team. Among those leaving were four former executive vice presidents and three former senior vice presidents. The moves cost the company about $7 million at the time, but led to savings of between $10 million and $12 million annually as the company sharpened its focus.

“We carefully created the new organizational structure to build on our strengths and provide more resources to client service functions,” Eckert said then. “We believe these changes will help make Eclipsys a more effective, efficient and responsive company that can better capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly growing HIT marketplace.”

Since then, the company sold its Clinical Practice Model Resource Center in late 2007, moved its headquarters from Boca Raton, Fla. to Atlanta in late 2008, and acquired the Premise Corp. earlier this year. For the first quarter of this year, the company reported $130.2 million in revenues, up from $124.4 million for the first quarter of 2008.