Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan Health Venture Eyes New CEO

Haven, a health-care venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan, will search for a new CEO and the current chief becomes chairman.
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Haven, a health-care venture backed by Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report, Berkshire Hathaway  (BRK.B) - Get Report and JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report, said Wednesday that Atul Gawande will relinquish his role as CEO of the venture and shift to chairman.

The venture began in 2018, with the three companies casting it as an altruistic platform to restructure the health-care system, cutting costs and improving outcomes. But so far it hasn’t had a significant impact.

Haven has initiated projects to try different health-benefits approaches at companies.

For example, it implemented a program for 30,000 JPMorgan employees in Ohio and Arizona. Their experimental health plan included flat costs for health-care services, knowledgeable sources told The Wall Street Journal.

Haven’s workers have spent much of their time constructing databases of employee health-care dynamics for all three companies, the sources said.

While Haven searches for a new CEO, its chief operating officer, Mitch Betses, will take over the responsibilities of day-to-day operations.

As for Gawande, “I am grateful for the opportunity to advance Haven’s mission in a new role as chairman,” he said in a statement.

“This will elevate my focus from daily management to supporting Haven’s strategy, board, and leadership. It will also enable me to devote time to policy and activities addressing the immediate and long-term threats to health and health systems from covid-19.”

Gawande is a renowned surgeon and professor at Harvard University. He didn’t have experience with the detailed intricacies of health insurance or heading a major company, sources told The Journal. And they said that may have held back the operation.