Amazon Healthcare Venture Still Seeking CEO


The healthcare venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase is having a hard time finding a CEO.

According to CNBC, the search for a CEO started around the time the three companies announced that they were teaming up to create an independent healthcare company that will aim to fix the nation’s healthcare system by reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction.

To achieve that, the collaborative will create a constraint-free independent company that isn’t focused on profit-making incentives. Its initial focus will be on using technology to provide U.S. employees and their families with easier, high-quality, transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.

But the search for a CEO hasn’t been easy. Potential candidates have been interviewing by phone, as well as in Berkshire’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and in New York, where JPMorgan is based, according to sources.

Initially, health policy and insurance experts were the main targets, including ex-Aetna executive Gary Loveman and former Medicare chief Andy Slavitt, as well as Todd Park, who was President Barack Obama’s technology chief.

But ABC shifted its focus to someone with an entrepreneurial background in technology and health. One of the top names was Owen Tripp, CEO of Grand Rounds Health, a startup that sells a second medical opinion service to large employers like Walmart and Target. Tripp also co-founded and has a background in healthcare consulting.

But Tripp said he’s committed to staying with Grand Rounds: “To the extent we can be part of their solution as their mission sharpens, we’d be glad to pitch in — just as we would assist any organization that wants to improve clinical outcomes,” he said.

So the search continues. Earlier this year, Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett said that ABC would hire a CEO within a year, stressing that in order to help reduce healthcare costs, the new company “can’t afford to make a mistake” in its decision.