THE RISE OF ATUL GAWANDE
It’s not every day that Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon find the time to get together and hunt for a suitable...
Dimon called Gawande “an extraordinary leader and innovator” and added that the three companies “have the talent and resources to make things better, and it is our responsibility to do so.” Bezos added: “ 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. Atul embodies all three, and we’re starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor.”
The overall goal remains to reduce the ever-growing share of the U.S. economy that’s taken up by healthcare costs by bringing conglomerates together and using salaried in-house caregivers to provide routine health services. There is no competition, no compulsion to bring in revenues or profits because there are none.
Since this is not a typical start-up it means Bezos, Buffett and Dimon were not looking for a typical CEO. According to Slate, it demands a leader with a deep understanding of the healthcare industry, and it wanted someone who has the respect of the entire profession.
Besides, Gawande will also have an opportunity to use the existing 1.2 million employees between the three companies, to treat and pre-empt common medical conditions, with the potential to generate enormous savings.
The global health-care mess can only be fixed by an insider, who knows what works. With the explicit goodwill and backing from three of the richest venture capitalists in America, a lot is resting on Gawande’s shoulders as he embarks on this journey. Whether it can disrupt US healthcare, of course, remains to be seen.