Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced Wednesday the next step in their partnership on U.S. employee healthcare with the appointment of Dr. Atul Gawande as its Chief Executive Officer, effective July 9.
The yet unnamed new company will be headquartered in Boston and will operate as an independent entity that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints.
Atul is a globally renowned surgeon, writer and public health innovator. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is Professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. He is founding executive director of the health systems innovation center, Ariadne Labs. He also is a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, has written four New York Times bestsellers: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and Being Mortal, and has received numerous awards for his contributions to science and healthcare.
“I’m thrilled to be named CEO of this healthcare initiative,” Atul said. “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 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.”
The venture was launched via an announcement Jan. 30 with the intention of applying technology that provides simplified, high-quality and transparent care, consumer-driven strategies in an attempt to reduce costs, improve engagement and create better long-term outcomes for employees and employers. The partners behind it believe their companies can provide the scale needed in order to create a healthcare company that uses innovative approaches to combat healthcare issues such as rising costs and ensuring high-quality healthcare for individuals.
A June 20 release announcing the CEO appointment included the following quotes from the three high-profile leaders of JPMorgan Chase, Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway:
- “As employers and as leaders, addressing healthcare is one of the most important things we can do for our employees and their families, as well as for the communities where we all work and live,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “Together, we have the talent and resources to make things better, and it is our responsibility to do so. We’re so grateful for the countless statements of support and offers to help and participate, and we’re so fortunate to have attracted such an extraordinary leader and innovator as Atul.”
- “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 Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. “Atul embodies all three, and we’re starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor.”
- “Talent and dedication were manifest among the many professionals we interviewed. All felt that better care can be delivered and that rising costs can be checked. Jamie, Jeff and I are confident that we have found in Atul the leader who will get this important job done,” said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett.