The much-hyped Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-J.P. Morgan initiative has selected a CEO: Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His new position is effective July 9.
In addition to his clinical work, Gawande is a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. He’s also a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of books like Being Mortal, Better and The Checklist Manifesto. Finally, he is also founding executive director of the health systems innovation center, Ariadne Labs. In a sense, he is a bit of a 21st Century Renaissance Man and may end up being the perfect choice to shepherd this joint venture, which has reportedly had some trouble in attracting a chief executive.
In both his writing and his speaking appearances, Gawande has been outspoken about topics such as wasteful healthcare spending, unnecessary care amping up costs and the slow pace of innovation in healthcare.
“For all that we spend, the serious problem is waste,” Gawande said at West Health’s Healthcare Costs Innovation Summit in February. “Major parts of the system have ballooned to serve only themselves.”
His expertise in such areas could prove useful as he leads this new venture, which will initially focus on tech solutions that will help the three companies’ U.S. employees and their families with healthcare.