May 13, 2020 / 5:16 PM / 14 days ago

CEO of Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan healthcare JV to step down

(Reuters) - Harvard surgeon and author Atul Gawande will step down as chief executive officer to take on the role of chairman at Haven, the healthcare joint venture of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N).

Boston-based Haven said bit.ly/3dFTpF3 on Wednesday Gawande was taking the new role to focus on company strategies, and form policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Operating Officer Mitch Betses will manage day-to-day operations, while Haven looks for a new CEO, the company said.

Besides Gawande, Haven’s board of directors include JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, Todd Combs, an investment officer of Berkshire Hathaway, and Beth Galetti, a senior vice president at Amazon.

Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan formed Haven in 2018 to address the rising healthcare costs in the United States. The companies had said they would use high-tech tools such as data analysis to improve care and reduce costs for employees and their family members.

Haven has not made any other public announcements since unveiling its name in 2019. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on May 8 that Gawande was planning to step down, said the company has launched pilot projects to test health-benefit approaches.

The initial announcement in 2018 to form the company shook the shares of health insurance companies such as UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) and Cigna Corp (CI.N) that manage large corporate benefits on worries that Amazon would disrupt the traditional insurance and drug benefit businesses.

(This story corrects typos in paragraph five)

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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