December 18, 2013
White House Taps Microsoft Exec To Fix Healthcare.gov Website
The White House announced on Tuesday that former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene will take over the job of completing repairs on the troubled Obamacare website.
DelBene, the retired president of Microsoft’s Office Division, will replace Jeffrey Zients, who is leaving to become the director of the National Economic Council on January 1.As senior advisor to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, DelBene “has proven expertise in heading large, complex technology teams and in product development. He will be a tremendous asset in our work,” Sebelius wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
DelBene will provide management and operations expertise, along with guidance on marketing and communications, she added.
President Barack Obama and Sebelius “believe strongly in having one person, with strong experience and expertise in management and execution, who is thinking 24/7 about HealthCare.gov,” Sebelius wrote.
Sebelius also commended Zients for his work on the government’s healthcare website, which had a disastrous launch October 1 that included frequent page errors, slow page-load times and other problems that left many people unable to shop or signup for coverage.
“Today, the site is night and day from what it was when it launched,” Sebelius said.
DelBene joined Microsoft in 1992, and is married to Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA), who was also a Microsoft executive prior to being elected to Congress in 2012. Mrs. DelBene represents the Washington State district where Microsoft is headquartered.