Feeds

Relax, Obama! Former Microsoft exec tapped to save sick healthcare.gov

Ex-Office Group prez to succeed the Prez's man

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Obama administration has apointed a former Microsoft executive to be the new head of its troubled Healthcare.gov website.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that Kurt DelBene, who most recently served as president of the Microsoft Office division, would become the new manager of the Obamacare portal.

DelBene, a 21-year Microsoft veteran, announced his retirement from the company in July and served his last day in Redmond on December 13.

In his new role with Healthcare.gov, he will succeed Jeff Zients, President Obama's handpicked fixer, who has only been involved with the site since late October. Zients, a political insider, came to the job with little tech background but a history of streamlining ineffective government projects. He is due to become head of the National Economic Council and the President's top economic aide early next year.

That will leave DelBene with the unenviable task of rejuvenating Healthcare.gov, the broken website that has become an albatross for the President's landmark healthcare reform efforts.

"The President and I believe strongly in having one person, with strong experience and expertise in management and execution, who is thinking 24/7 about HealthCare.gov," Sebelius said. "Kurt's leadership and management of HealthCare.gov will be in consultation with [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and in partnership with the project's general contractor, QSSI."

DelBene will pursue plans already in place for Healthcare.gov, Sibelius said, with an increased emphasis on improving the site's stability, redundancy, and traffic capacity – all areas where it has suffered, so far – not to mention bolstering its security and assuring the privacy of its users.

He has his work cut out for him. The current "open enrollment" period, during which Americans can sign up for health coverage starting in 2014, ends on March 31, and traffic to the site is likely to increase steadily until then.

Sebelius said DelBene has committed to managing Healthcare.gov through at least the first half of 2014. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.