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Bezos and partners pick CEO for joint healthcare venture

Surgeon and writer Dr. Atul Gawande will take the helm of the healthcare venture on July 9 in its newly minted Boston headquarters.
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Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor on

The still-unnamed joint healthcare initiative spearheaded by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase has found its CEO.

Dr. Atul Gawande, described as a "surgeon, writer and public health innovator" will take the helm of the healthcare venture on July 9 in its newly minted Boston headquarters.

The company's backers -- Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Berkshire's Warren Buffett and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon -- have pledged to keep the venture an independent entity "that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints."

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The trio of business icons first announced plans for the joint venture in January as part of an effort to reduce healthcare costs for their US-based employees. Details of the initiative remain slim, but the companies said the initial focus will be on building the backend technology that's needed to provide health coverage services to a large, disconnected workforce.

Over time, the goal is to incubate new healthcare models that are scalable to the healthcare market as a whole.

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"We said at the outset that the degree of difficulty is high and success is going to require an expert's knowledge, a beginner's mind, and a long-term orientation," Bezos said in a statement. "Atul embodies all three, and we're starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor."

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