This case analysis is based on the events that occurred on March 13, 2001 and the days that followed at Cerner Corporation. On that day the Chief Executive Officer of Cerner Corporation, Neal Patterson, sent a memo to the company’s managers via e-mail. In the message he advised the managers of his disgust with their disregard of punctuality and work ethic which he felt was as a result of the managers’ lack of leadership skills. The e-mail message was later obtainable for viewing on the Yahoo website to the public, including existing and potential investors and stock market analysts. Cerner Corporation felt the short-term effects in the stock market and public opinion after the message was posted on Yahoo’s website. Some viewed the message from Neal Patterson as being too harsh and should have been communicated through a different medium. Others felt the message was exaggerated and could have been communicated in softer tones. Neal Patterson was then faced with the issues of restoring confidence in the eyes of his staff members and investors of the company. Mr. Patterson was then faced with the task of restoring confidence amongst staff because they felt the e-mail was too callous and resulting in a negative impression of him to the public. Due to the negative publicity of Cerner Corporation the stock price and value of the firm declined. However, it was suggested by analysts that the state of the market which was ‘bearish’ also contributed to decline.
Statement of the Problem The memo sent via e-mail by Neal Patterson which was perceived as harsh, arrogant, and unnecessary resulted in the staff taking offense and investors selling their shares held in the company. The problem in this case is the crisis of confidence in the Chief Executive Officer because of the tone and content of the e-mail. The issue of confidence is important and if not resolved staff will become more and more unhappy and uncertain about