By Dave Sebastian 

Atul Gawande is stepping down as the chief executive of Haven, the health-care venture backed by Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase.

Dr. Gawande, a prominent surgeon and professor at Harvard University, is taking on the less operational role of chairman, while Chief Operating Officer Mitch Betses will manage daily operations, Haven said Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Dr. Gawande was in talks to step down from his role.

Dr. Gawande, who took the helm in July 2018, said the shift would enable him to focus on policy and advocacy work amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The venture said it is looking for a new CEO.

"This will elevate my focus from daily management to supporting Haven's strategy, board and leadership," Dr. Gawande said.

Haven says it is focused on improving access to primary care, simplifying insurance coverage and making prescription drugs more affordable. In response to a question on whether it would replace doctors or insurance companies, the company on its website says it is "interested in working with clinicians and insurance companies to improve the overall health system."

Dr. Gawande's transition as chairman is a sign of the venture's slow start since its splashy unveiling in January 2018. The venture's efforts so far have been of limited scope, and it has been spending much of its early time building data systems on employee health-care tendencies across Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan Chase, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Write to Dave Sebastian at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 13, 2020 13:23 ET (17:23 GMT)

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