There has been much speculation about what exactly the joint health venture by JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon will be—and ultimately do. That curiosity, no surprise, has extended to the question of who will lead the venture—with the naming of various candidates turning into a public parlor game.
Late last week, CNBC thought it had broken the story, with a hoped-for scoop that Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg—who was featured in FORTUNE’s April 1 cover story—would oversee the mysterious new entity. It would have been a smart pick. (Feinberg had been reportedly advising JPM’s CEO Jamie Dimon and Berkshire boss Warren Buffett on the process, as it was.) But Feinberg later announced that he would remain at the celebrated Pennsylvania health system—pushing the outside guessing game into overdrive.
Candidate names that have been bandied about include former acting Medicare administrator Andy Slavitt and former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park—both of whom served in the Obama administration—as well as a number of health startup entrepreneurs, according to CNBC and others. (Buffett, Dimon, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have settled on a pick, they’ve said, but have yet to announce who it is.)
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So far the speculation has centered on whether the trio has chosen a doer or a thinker. But I’m hoping that they’ve picked a pusher—um, as in envelope pusher. There is simply no point in setting up this enterprise unless the new leader is (a) determined as all heck to shake up the companies’ healthcare incentive system and (b) absolutely committed to integrating long-horizon prevention services, robust wellness coverage, and new consumer-focused technology into the plan(s). And to accomplish all, the venture CEO will need the unbridled support of her or his three corporate patrons.
I’m pleased to say that FORTUNE will actually get a chance to model out some of this thinking in our second annual gathering of the CEO Initiative, in San Francisco on June 25th and 26th. Three extremely thoughtful corporate leaders—Cathy Engelbert, Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte US; Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.; and Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation—will lead a long, deep discussion on “Building a New Model for Workplace Health.” They’ll be joined by Lloyd Minor, Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine—who, as Brainstorm Health readers know, is particularly insightful when it comes to the potential of smart data and technology in healthcare delivery—and several other like-minded CEOs.
I’m truly excited for that. I’m also thrilled to get the chance to sit down for a one-on-one conversation with legendary venture capitalist and startup management guru John Doerr, whose wonderful new book, Measure What Matters, is now a New York Times best seller. Doerr, it’s worth noting, has also been advising the triumvirate of Buffett, Dimon, and Bezos on their candidate search.
Also participating in this event—which has been designed, along with FORTUNE’s “Change the World” list, to explore how companies can do well by doing good—are Apple’s Tim Cook, Delta’s Ed Bastian, Intel’s Brian Krzanich, Synchrony’s Margaret Keane, and Genpact CEO Tiger Tyagarajan, among many other leaders and thinkers.
I’ll be back in these pages with more on our discussions soon.