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Amazon's Haven Healthcare Joint Venture Seeks a New CEO

By Donna Fuscaldo – May 11, 2020 at 11:49AM

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Current CEO Atul Gawande wants to relinquish the role so he can focus on health care policy and advocacy.

Haven Healthcare, the healthcare joint venture between Amazon (AMZN -0.54%), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B -1.09%), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM -2.04%) is in search of a new CEO. 

Citing people with knowledge of the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported that Atul Gawande, the current Haven CEO, intends to relinquish his CEO role and instead become chairman, which would allow him to focus on COVID-19 policies and advocacy rather than on the day-to-day operations of the venture. Haven has launched a search for his successor. 

A paper cutout of a family holding hands with a heart in the background and a stethscope.


Gawande, who is also a renowned surgeon and professor at Harvard University, was a big win for Haven when he joined the company in June 2018. But since then, the healthcare joint venture has not made much of a splash, as Gawande has favored a slow approach to testing and rolling out services. He also lacked experience leading a major company and didn't possess a deep grasp of the inner workings of the insurance industry, both of which may have hindered Haven's progress on its ambitious plans, noted the report. 

When the joint venture was first announced back in late January 2018, some in the healthcare and insurance industries panicked over the possibility that Amazon, with the backing of a pair of  powerhouses like Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan, would disrupt and change forever yet another market. But with Haven's innovations coming out in dribs and drabs, those worries have abated. 

In November, Haven launched its first health insurance plans, giving 30,000 JPMorgan employees access to plans operated by Cigna and Aetna for 2020. Those insurance plans are designed to inform employees about the true costs of medical procedures and doctor visits, so members will know what they are paying. It also includes free preventive care, no coinsurance, and $15 copays for in-network primary care doctors. The WSJ noted that Haven has been focused on developing information on the healthcare habits of employees at Amazon, Berkshire, and JPMorgan. 

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short June 2020 $205 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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