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Atul Gawande picks Jack Stoddard as COO of Amazon's new healthcare company

Stoddard's experience in digital health technology is being added to company formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Former Comcast and Optum executive Jack Stoddard is the new chief operating officer for the as-yet unnamed healthcare venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, according to CNBC, which broke the news.

This is the first hire for the new company since Brigham and Women's Hospital surgeon Atul Gawande, MD, was named CEO in June.

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said on Bloomberg Television that Gawande is in the process of adding staff now.

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"He's hiring people," Buffett reportedly said. "Not very many people, but he will be hiring people."

Buffett said the initiative for the new company is about more than taking cost out of the system.

Not much information has been released on the new venture, except that it will be an independent entity free from profit-making incentives, and based in Boston.

It is expected to reduce the healthcare costs for the three companies' 1 million-plus employees as the industry watches how innovative disruption by the consumer-focused online giant, backed by financial expertise, changes how healthcare is provided and paid for.

Staff is needed that can take on that challenge.

Stoddard, of Glenside, Pennsylvania, said on his Linkedin page that he is a senior executive building and scaling digital healthcare technology and service companies.

Since December 2017, Stoddard has served as general manager, Digital Health, at Comcast, in the greater Philadelphia area.

In April, Comcast teamed with Independence Health Group, a large Blue Cross insurer, to launch a healthcare technology platform, according to CNBC.

Stoddard served as interim CEO of the new digital health platform run as an independent new firm.

Stoddard was also part of the executive team that created the claims processing engine Optum, which was later acquired by UnitedHealth Group, CNBC said.

He served as senior vice president of Optum International from September 2008 to May 2009 in London and was with UnitedHealth Group for close to four years, according to his Linkedin page.

He has over two decades of experience applying technology, data, science, people and design thinking to improve the healthcare consumer experience, he said, listing other experience with Accolade, Health Dialog and The Advisory Board.

He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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