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Published on April 17, 2024

Featured Article

Cerner (CERN) Long: 28.8% Alpha Based on CEO Ability

On December 8, 2021, ManagementTrack recommended a long position on Cerner Corp (CERN), driven by our confidence in CEO Brent Shafer’s ability to steer the company towards substantial growth. Our analysis, grounded in Shafer’s extensive background in healthcare technology and leadership, suggested his experience was well-suited to address Cerner’s strategic needs, ultimately leading to a 28.8% alpha.

ManagementTrack’s Investigative Process

  1. In-depth CEO Analysis: ManagementTrack conducted a comprehensive review of Brent Shafer’s career, focusing on his achievements and leadership style during his tenure at Philips North America and his early days at Cerner.
  2. Peer Interviews: Our team of investigative journalists interviewed former colleagues and peers of Shafer, gathering insights into his strengths, weaknesses, and leadership effectiveness.
  3. Strategic Fit Evaluation: We assessed how Shafer’s toolkit and experience aligned with Cerner’s strategic objectives and challenges, predicting a positive impact on the company’s performance.

Why ManagementTrack Believed They Would Succeed

  1. Proven Leadership in Healthcare Technology: Shafer’s successful leadership at Philips North America highlighted his ability to drive growth and innovation in healthcare technology, directly applicable to Cerner’s market.
  2. Strategic Vision for Growth: Insights from peer interviews underlined Shafer’s strategic vision and his capability to revitalize Cerner’s growth trajectory through focused innovation and market expansion.
  3. Alignment with Company Needs: Shafer’s experience and leadership style were identified as particularly well-matched to address Cerner’s operational and strategic challenges, promising a turnaround in performance.

Outcome and Performance

The recommendation to take a long position on Cerner, based on Brent Shafer’s leadership potential, generated a significant 28.8% alpha by June 8, 2022, validating ManagementTrack’s analysis and the strategic fit of Shafer’s capabilities with Cerner’s needs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Leadership Matters: The case of Cerner underlines the critical impact of executive leadership on a company’s performance and market valuation.
  2. Strategic Fit is Key: Matching a CEO’s experience and leadership style with the strategic needs of the company can lead to substantial returns.
  3. In-depth Analysis Pays Off: ManagementTrack’s thorough investigative process and strategic fit evaluation provided a solid basis for the successful long recommendation.


ManagementTrack’s recommendation on Cerner Corp, driven by our confidence in CEO Brent Shafer’s leadership, underscores the importance of executive analysis in investment decisions. Our investigative process and strategic evaluation accurately predicted Shafer’s positive impact on Cerner, resulting in significant alpha and demonstrating the value of aligning executive capabilities with company strategy.

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