A former top Microsoft executive on Wednesday will assume the role of technical manager of Obama’s troubled health care website, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.
Kurt DelBene, who retired earlier this week from his position as president of the Microsoft Office Division, succeeds Jeff Zients in leading the overhaul of HealthCare.gov, thus ushering in a representative from the private sector.
He “will provide management expertise, operations oversight, and critical advice on additional enrollment channels, field operations, marketing and communications,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote Tuesday in a blog post. Additionally, he will “ensure the site’s performance is strong through the close of open enrollment on March 31, 2014.”
HealthCare.gov launched on Oct. 1, but immediately suffered widespread glitches. The website serves Americans shopping for health insurance in 36 states that did not create individual state-run exchanges.
DelBene has worked in several roles within Microsoft’s product development teams since he joined the company in 1992. As president of the Office division, he oversaw the engineering and marketing functions for a variety of products and services, according to his biography page.
“With his long career in the private sector, Kurt has the unique combination of skills and experience as an executive in the technology industry to manage a project the size and scope of HealthCare.gov,” said his wife, Washington Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene, who supported the Supreme Court’s decision last year to uphold the Affordable Care Act. “I’ve long said that we need more people to enter public service who are focused on delivering results.”