On Dec. 19, the Chicago-based Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. announced that its CEO, Glen Tullman, had stepped down, and that the company had named Paul M. Black as its president and CEO, effective immediately. Black is a former COO at the Kansas City-based Cerner Corporation, and was already an Allscripts board member. Tullman has not only relinquished his CEO position; he has also stepped down from the Allscripts board. In a press release, the company published a statement from Dennis Chookaszian, chairman of the board, which read, “We want to thank Glen Tullman for building Allscripts into one of the leaders in the evolving healthcare IT industry. Glen began at the company in 1997 when it was unprofitable, turned Allscripts around and achieved record revenues and profits in 2011. Along the way,” Chookaszian added in the statement, Glen also grew the workforce to more than 7,000 employees.”
For some, perhaps, this news may not come as a total surprise. To begin with, following its merger with Eclipsys, Allscripts underwent internal corporate upheaval that was widely reported in the mainstream media this spring and summer. For example, after Phil Pead, the Australian-born executive who had been CEO of the Eclipsys Corporation and who became Allscripts board chairman after Allscripts had acquired Eclipsys in August 2010, was forced off the board on April 25, the company’s stock fell 36 percent in just one day, on April 27. The internal war within Allscripts, described by some insiders as an unsuccessful attempted palace coup led by Pead, was highly damaging to the company’s standing in the market.
What's more, that standing was further impacted in October, when CEO Tullman publicly challenged the decision by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, after that integrated delivery system chose the Verona, Wis.-based Epic Systems Corporation over Allscripts to implement an electronic health record (EHR) across the organization’s 11 public hospitals and 70 clinics. At the time, Tullman told The New York Times that he had challenged the New York City health system’s computation of the costs of implementing the two companies’ EHR solutions.
And when in early November Allscripts an nounced its third-quarter financial results, the company revealed that it was “evaluating strategic alternatives” in response to media speculation that the company had received bids from various private equity firms. As of early November, the firm’s bookings were down 17 percent from the second quarter, and down 39 percent year over year.