The Kansas City Star is reporting that Cerner is offering employers whose combination of years of service and age total 65 have been offered voluntary separation packages. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Cerner spokesman Dan Smith said the one-time offer reflects the “deep bench of complementary talent” because of the Siemens acquisition and doesn’t affect Cerner’s continued hiring or its future growth plans.
“This is a truly voluntary program for all of our U.S. associates,” Smith said. “There is no pre-determined outcome and no number to hit. It provides eligible associates who might be ready to make a change the chance to decide to stay or pursue a different option and get benefits not normally associated with voluntary departures.”
With any large acquisition like the one Cerner did of Siemens, there has to be a lot of duplicate functions and they have to look at how to trim back the number of employees. So, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. In fact, I think the fact that they’re currently doing a voluntary separation package might mean that they aren’t looking to slim down the company as much as you’d think. Some investors might think that’s a bad plan since every company the size or Cerner or Siemens (let alone the combined company) could likely fire 10% of the workforce and improve their company’s profitability. Although, it could also be a sign of how much growth Cerner is experiencing.
Personally, I’ll be watching to see if they announce some other layoffs. It will be a surprise to me if they don’t announce some involuntary layoffs. Either way, this is a normal part of an acquisition like this.
It does make me wonder how many of these older professionals that accept the voluntary separation packages will end up at the wide variety of EHR consulting companies out there. You have to think that would be a pretty sweet deal for them.