Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway are taking the next step in their U.S. employee nonprofit health care business by naming a new chief executive officer. On Wednesday, the powerhouse trio announced the appointment of Atul Gawande as the new leader of the business.
While the company does not yet have a name, Gawande’s name lends additional credibility to the venture. The well-known surgeon and author boasts an impressive résumé — he is a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, and has penned four New York Times best-sellers. In his new role as CEO, he will be leading a company that is independent “from profit-making incentives and constraints,” the companies noted in a press release.
“I’m thrilled to be named CEO of this health care initiative,” said Atul, “I have devoted my public health career to building scalable solutions for better health care delivery that are saving lives, reducing suffering, and eliminating wasteful spending both in the U.S. and across the world. Now I have the backing of these remarkable organizations to pursue this mission with even greater impact for more than a million people, and in doing so incubate better models of care for all. This work will take time but must be done. The system is broken, and better is possible.”
In working together, Amazon, JPMorgan, andBerkshire Hathaway are hoping they can deliver health care better than the current players in the game. Unfortunately, details are still extremely sparse when it comes to exactly what the three titans have in mind. When the nonprofit was first announced in January, the trio said it was with the goal of finding “ways to address health care for their U.S. employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs.”
So how exactly did Gawande land the job? Apparently, 10 candidates were interviewed, and were “asked to write a white paper on how they would fix the health care system.” Ultimately, three individuals made the final cut, and from there, Gawande was chosen.
“Talent and dedication were manifest among the many professionals we interviewed,” said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett. “All felt that better care can be delivered and that rising costs can be checked. [JPMorgan CEO] Jamie [Dimon], [Amazon CEO] Jeff [Bezos], and I are confident that we have found in Atul the leader who will get this important job done.”
The joint venture will be headquartered in Boston (which is ideal for Gawande, who is already based in the New England metropolis), and the new CEO’s duties will begin July 9.