Epic CEO Judy Faulkner: We would never sell to Apple

  • Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner responds to the notion that Apple might buy her company: "We're not going to do that."
  • In January, CNBC's Jim Cramer suggested that such a move would make sense for Apple, as it looks to get deeper into health care. Epic is a private health IT company that sells its medical record software to hospitals across the country.
  • Faulkner, who's the third richest woman in the country, runs her company with a strict mantra to never do deals, and never go public.
Judith Faulkner, CEO of healthcare IT giant Epic Systems.
Source: Epic Systems
Judith Faulkner, CEO of healthcare IT giant Epic Systems.

Most CEOs would not balk at the idea of Apple buying their company.

But Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner is not like most CEOs.

In January, CNBC's Jim Cramer suggested that Apple should consider buying Epic, one of the largest private health IT companies in the world. The move would help Apple convince customers and investors that it's serious about health care, as Epic sells its medical record software to many of the largest hospitals in America.

But a buyer needs a seller, and Epic isn't interested.

"We're not going to do that," Faulkner told HealthCareITNews at the HIMSS health conference earlier this week.

Faulkner, who founded the company nearly 40 years ago and grew it to billions of dollars in revenues, is now the third richest woman in the country. The 75-year-old founder rarely gives interviews, but has made her guiding principles very clear to employees and investors. Among them: Epic Systems doesn't do deals, and it will never go public. These rules are plastered everywhere on the company's campus in Verona, Wisconsin, including in every bathroom and breakroom.

Faulkner went on to explain that none of her customers were concerned about the possibility. "It was just very gratifying that not a single health system contacted us about it and said they were worried. They all said they laughed," she said.

"I think the thing that amazed me most about it is not that he said it. But that the message is so clear around the whole industry that we wouldn't do that," she said. "And nobody questioned it. That was a real achievement, I think."

Faulkner also dismissed the ambitions of cloud providers Amazon, Microsoft and Google as they try to sell to large hospitals. All three companies attended the same conference, HIMSS, to tout their offerings in the cloud.

"They might come to us. (But) right now they're not going to the major cloud vendors such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Because they're not yet – because as far as I understand it, the large amount of data that they would have to run their databases isn't how those three organizations have organized, so they would have to change some things in order to be able to handle that," she explained. "And I know that we do have at least one customer, probably two, trying to work with them for disaster recovery. And there's hurdles to get them. They've got to figure out those hurdles."

Read the full interview with HealthcareITNews here.