Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan Chase Name Atul Gawande as CEO
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have appointed Dr. Atul Gawande, a renowned author and surgeon, as the CEO of their newly formed healthcare company. Gawande, who specializes in general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital and teaches at Harvard, will take the reins at the Boston company July 9.
As a contributor to the New Yorker, Gawande has focused a lot on healthcare costs, and his 2009 story about McAllen, Texas (an economically poor town with the most expensive healthcare in the country), was touted by President Barack Obama, who made it required reading for White House staffers during the healthcare debate. With deep pockets and wide resources behind him, Gawande will be given a chance to put some of his theories about containing costs to the test. In a statement, the doctor said he was "thrilled" at being named to lead the healthcare venture.
“I have devoted my public health career to building scalable solutions for better healthcare delivery that are saving lives, reducing suffering and eliminating wasteful spending both in the US and across the world," he said. "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.”
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said the companies were confident Gawande would "get this important job done."
“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,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a statement. “Atul embodies all three, and we’re starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor.”