In January, the CEOs of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) announced plans to team up for a partnership intended to reduce the rising cost of health care for employees. On Wednesday, it was announced that Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon and Jeff Bezos have picked a leader for the new joint health care venture, set to be headquartered in Boston. (See also: CVS Offers Rx Delivery to Stay Ahead of Amazon.)
Gawande to Lead Health Care Disruptor
Dr. Atul Gawande will serve as CEO of the company, which the group says will be "free from profit-making incentives and constraints." Gawande, who currently practices general and endocrine surgery at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and is a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, will assume the position on July 9. Gawande indicated in a letter to friends and colleagues that he will keep many of his roles, and will continue his work as an author, having published various books such as "Being Mortal" and "The Checklist Manifesto." He also contributes to The New Yorker. Gawande will transition from a position as executive director at health systems innovation center Ariadne Labs to chair.
The trio of moguls had ramped up their search to find a leader for the partnership in recent months. Gawande will be tasked with working across three companies with a combined 1.2 million employees, where he will spearhead the development of innovative solutions for the multi-trillion-dollar health care industry in efforts to simplify the system and lower costs.
"We said at the outset that the degree of difficulty is high and success is going to require an expert's knowledge, a beginner's mind, and a long-term orientation," said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. "[Gawande] embodies all three, and we're starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor."