Cerner appoints Google Health VP David Feinberg as its new CEO

20 Aug 2021

David Feinberg. Image: Google

David Feinberg, who joined Google in 2019 to lead its move into healthcare, will now head up health-tech company Cerner in its next chapter of growth.

Google Health VP David Feinberg is leaving the company to join health-tech company Cerner as president and CEO.

The announcement was made by Cerner yesterday (19 August) and comes after its current chief executive Brent Shafer announced his departure.

Cerner is a publicly listed US company that provides IT services and hardware for the healthcare industry. Founded in 1979, the Kansas-headquartered company made $5.5bn in revenue in 2020 and invests $800m in R&D every year. In 2018, Cerner created 50 R&D jobs in its Dublin-based intellectual property development team.

Feinberg joined Google Health in 2019 to lead the search giant’s move into the healthcare sector by bringing teams across Google and Alphabet together with the aim of finding new ways to solve problems in the industry.

Before joining Google, he was the president and CEO of Geisinger, a regional healthcare provider based in Pennsylvania. Feinberg also spent more than 20 years in various roles at UCLA, including president and CEO of UCLA Health.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been guided by the goal of improving patient health and reducing the complexity of the healthcare system,” he said.

“I am thrilled to join a company that is so uniquely well-positioned to provide technology solutions that enable clinicians to take better care of patients while driving better clinical, operational, and financial outcomes for organisations of all sizes.”

Mitch Daniels, a Cerner board member and chair of its nominating, governance and public policy committee, said that the search for a new CEO had been ongoing for months.

“With his exceptional track record of leading and innovating programmes to improve patient care, technology experience and industry expertise, we believe Dr Feinberg is the ideal CEO to lead Cerner in its next chapter of growth and success.”

Feinberg is a graduate of UC Berkley and the Chicago Medical School. A medical expert in the field of psychiatry, he went on to earn a master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University.

In a 2019 interview with Google, he said that he stepped away from his clinical duties and moved into administration to help more people.

“When I began speaking with Google, I immediately saw the potential to help billions of people, in part because I believe Google is already a health company. It’s been in the company’s DNA from the start,” he said.

One of Feinberg’s projects at Google Health was the exposure notification system for Covid-19 that the company developed with Apple. According to CNBC, Google Health had more than 500 employees in 2020.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic