Sarah Kliff at Vox had the best tweet about this morning’s announcement that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase were forming a new health care company.
“Alexa, what is this new Amazon health care company?" https://t.co/oAAI0R4JQH
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) January 30, 2018
The lack of details was notable—and no doubt had purpose. The 7 a.m. announcement did say, though that the initial focus will be on “technology solutions.”
And whatever this new company winds up doing, it will only be for the employees of three companies. At least for now. Stock prices of the major insurers and the PBMs fell on the news.
Combs joined Berkshire Hathaway as an investment manager in 2010. According to a Wall Street Journal profile that year, he impressed the clients of the hedge fund he ran prior to joining Berkshire Hathaway with his eye for downside risk and not necessarily chasing big gainers. He made profits by shorting the stocks of financial companies during the real estate bubble in 2006 and 2007, according to the Journal’s profile. Handpicked by Buffet and mentioned as one of his possible successors, Combs now manages about $10 billion for Berkshire Hathaway. In an interview last year, he said he spends most of his workday reading. It seems, though, that health care is new territory for Combs and that he might have some catch up reading to do
Not so Sullivan Berchtold at least as far as the pharmaceutical side of health care is concerned. According to her LinkedIn profile, she joined JPMorgan as managing director last August after working for Novartis since 2009 (was she hired with this venture in mind?). Sullivan Berchtold’s title at Novartis was Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions. The largest transaction on her watch was the huge, multipart deal with GlaxoSmithKline in 2014 that included the purchase of GSK’s oncology portfolio by Novartis, the sale of Novartis’s vaccine business (minus its flu vaccines) to GSK, and the creation of a joint, Novartis-GSK consumer health care venture.
Galetti was hired by Amazon in 2013 as a human resources vice president, according to her LinkedIn profile, and was promoted to senior vice president in 2016. According to Recode, she is the only woman among the 15 people at that level, which in the Amazon org chart sits just below Jeff Bezos and his two deputies. Before Amazon Galetti was an executive Federal Express where, among other things, she managed development of the software for tracking packages. In an interview last year with the Puget Sound Business Journal she advised “…taking roles that make you nervous, that are really hard, or the ones that nobody else wants….”