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News about Gary Cohen
  • Ex-iSoft CEO's case against sale thrown out by NSW Supreme Court

    Former iSoft chief executive Gary Cohen’s attempts to delay the medical software group’s sale to CSC have been dismissed by the New South Wales Supreme Court as without foundation, enabling the sale to go ahead.
    iSoft stakeholder Ocean Capital announced in an ASX statement this week that the case brought against it by Cohen’s family company RJL Investments was dismissed on Friday 20 May.
    Cohen, who led the company for a decade until resigning in the face of drastically falling revenues last year, had filed for litigation against Ocean Capital last month.
    At the time, the company claimed Ocean Capital was required to give four weeks’ notice to Cohen before it could sell 15 per cent of its 24 per cent stake in the company as part of a pre-emption deed acquired by Cohen during negotiations in 2007.
    However, the NSW Supreme Court found CSC’s proposed acquisition, reportedly worth $180 million, did not fall under the provisions of Cohen’s ability to pre-empt the sale. Ocean Capital reaffirmed in the ASX statement that it was open to bids superior to CSC’s current standing offer of 17c per share.
    “We remain free to deal with our shares in iSoft at any time,” the company stated.
    It is unknown whether RJL Investments will appeal the decision.
    The sale would provide CSC with 3300 iSoft employees and access to the 13,000 healthcare providers in 40 countries currently using the company’s e-health products, when the deal is finalised by the end of CSC’s second quarter in September this year.
    iSoft will be delisted from the ASX as part of the deal, though CSC is yet to confirm whether it will retain the brand or assimilate contracts and products under the wider CSC umbrella.
    CSC has committed to continuing internal transition programs outlined by iSoft over the past few years to eliminate cash burn, but is yet to confirm whether any further reductions in headcount will be made among iSoft staff. The provider had already flagged plans to lay off 800 staff or 17 per cent of its original workforce of 4500.
    Cohen resigned in September last year following $383 million statutory loss in the 2009-2010 fiscal period. He was replaced at the time by chief operating officer, Andrea Fiumicelli.
    Most District Health Boards in New Zealand are iSoft customers.
    - Additional reporting by David Watson

  • iSoft chief executive resigns

    The long-time chief executive of troubled e-health giant iSoft, Gary Cohen, has resigned without a statement in the face of disastrous annual results over the past year that have seen revenues shrink.
    iSoft is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
    Cohen’s resignation was revealed yesterday as part of the company’s annual financial results for the year to 30 June, in which it revealed revenues were down 20 per cent to $431 million over the previous year, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) down 78 per cent on constant currency terms to $30 million.
    It also reported a statutory loss over the financial period of $383 million.
    The earnings are even lower than those forecast by the company in a market revision sent to the ASX during July.
    iSOFT has commenced an in-depth review into its operations as a result.
    “As part of the review, iSOFT chief executive officer Gary Cohen has agreed to step aside as CEO to focus on assisting the board in the evaluation of strategic options for the company,” an ASX statement issued by the company said today.
    A company spokesperson refused to make Cohen or his deputy, chief operating officer, Andrea Fiumicelli, available for comment. Fiumicelli will take Cohen’s place temporarily while a permanent replacement is found.
    A call to Cohen’s personal mobile rang out.
    However, the executive won’t be far from iSoft’s heart, despite his move to step down. Cohen will remain an executive director at iSoft and has agreed to remain on with the company to assist with its review and ongoing strategic development.
    “His experience and knowledge of the specialised sector internationally will be invaluable as we begin the search for a new chief executive who will drive the company forward in this next phase of its evolution,” said iSoft chairman, Robert Moran.
    Currency problems and difficulties with the UK’s National Health Service are believed to be at fault for the dismal iSoft earnings.
    In the past financial year, 73 percent of iSOFT’s revenues were generated in pounds and Euro, with the conversion to Australian dollars leaving the company worse off due to an up to 25 percent appreciation of Australia’s currency in that time at its peak.
    “iSoft suffered an adverse impact on its reported revenue of around $109 million against the prior year,” the company’s statement said.
    However, iSoft also suffered a real-world decline in EBITDA of 78 per cent on constant currency terms to $30 million — which it said was mostly attributable to delays in the implementation of the UK National Health Service’s National Programme for IT flagship e-health project.
    The NHS contract was one of the reasons that then-IBA Health bought fellow e-health giant iSoft several years ago, rebranding since under the iSOFT moniker. But the massive project has proven to be a millstone around the company’s neck at various stages.
    “As a result of the more subdued economic environment in iSOFT’s markets, the company has reduced its internal projections for growth in Central Europe, [the] Middle East and Africa, South East Asia and Australia,” the statement said.
    To rectify its problems iSoft has already targeted operational cost savings of $50 million by the end of June 2011 — with staff cuts planned. It will streamline its product portfolio, reorient business development and research and development, restructure its debt facilities and is considering asset disposals and new board appointments.
    “Notwithstanding these discussions and the strategic review, the core business of the company remains healthy,” iSoft’s statement said today.
    iSoft is used by most District Health Boards in New Zealand. In April, a bug in an iSoft system at Gisborne Hospital resulted in a mix-up of patient data. Changes were subsequently made to HealthView, the iSoft application involved.
    Additional reporting by James Hutchinson and David Watson

  • iSoft board reshuffled

    Health software group iSoft, which has a presence in all New Zealand’s 21 district health boards, has had major changes at board level.