Skip to Main Content

Atul Gawande on Wednesday confirmed that he will step down as chief executive of the health care company formed by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Berkshire Hathaway, saying it will allow him to devote more time to addressing the threats posed by Covid-19.

Gawande said in a statement posted on Haven’s website that he will stay on as chairman of Haven’s board of directors and that a search has begun for a new chief executive officer. Mitch Betses, a longtime executive with CVS Health who became Haven’s chief operating officer in March, will oversee day-to-day operations.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • I think that there may be more to this than meets the eye. Perhaps it was a wrong role/fit for Dr. Gawande and, maybe, he really wants to spend more time on tackling Covid-19. I have read everything he has written – books, blogs, articles- in the past decade and thought that as the CEO he could make a solid contribution here. My excitement returned to earth when I heard that he would be continuing his hospital work and conduct surgeries while leading this three-headed animal.
    Regardless of his role as the CEO, I hope that the entity refocuses and builds good overarching solutions – there are so many opportunities to make some everlasting and global contributions. For example, AWS has a fantastic engine (Amazon Comprehend) that can interpret the text. Throwing it at EMR’s can extract and make sense of discrete data that would help fill many important clinical trials that currently end without filling out the patient panels. Another area would be to connect medical devices with EMR’s, despite politics and pushback.
    Many others from other entities, regions, and organizations will happily collaborate. The danger is that this firm becomes a conglomerate more interested in chasing its own tail.

  • Atul Gawande is one of my favorite thought leaders in health care. I read all his books and articles and heard him speak on numerous occasions at Harvard. When she was appointed to the CEO role of the new joint venture, I scratched my head as I didn’t see the fit. I hope that in his new role at Haven he actually has time to get back to offering the thought provoking ideas he championed before he took on a role that did not fit his skill set. I look forward the hearing from him more often as I missed his wisdom over the last several years.

    • I agree. I thought the selection of Gawande as CEO would deliver more in optics and PR than in tangible results. Gawande is a big thinker who has an exceptional talent for communicating provocative concepts and ideas in a clear and compelling manner. In the Haven role, the data dictates the focus and drives the ideas rather than idealistic thinking. The role requires disciplined execution that achieves the desired outcomes while moving the dial on sometimes conflicting constituencies and metrics. Gawande had little in his background that suggested he would excel in such a role.

    • Gawande documented and applied practices that are a common practice in the chemical industry. Healthcare industry drooled over them as a new revelation. Cross fertilization of concepts has to be there. However, common practice is that don’t do that. Normal.

  • Gwande is a doctor, an academic doctor at that. He is far removed from running a business. No wonder Haven has gone no where and he is stepping down. He is not CEO material.

  • Interesting! With no visible activity and news reporters not squealing made this hard to move forward. In addition, getting an industry veteran as COO will take it away from its mission. Haven will become another failure like Pillpack is going to be.

    PBMs win 5 and patients ZERO. This is for the history to record.

Comments are closed.