Microsoft Exec Hired To Direct Healthcare.gov
A retired senior Microsoft executive who headed the software giant's Office division, will spearhead efforts to continue the overhaul of the federal government's website for health insurance, it has been announced.
Kurt DelBene will replace Jeffrey Zients, a long-time aide to President Barack Obama who starts a new job as top economic adviser at the White House in the New Year.
As head of Microsoft's most profitable division, Mr DelBene was in charge of providing complex software and services, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the Microsoft Exchange e-mail system.
Mr DelBene, husband of US Representative Suzan DelBene of Washington, is volunteering, a White House official said.
He will be compensated for his work but will return his entire salary, details of which were not released, to the Treasury.
Healthcare.gov could not handle traffic when it launched on October 1, slowing enrolments and creating a political embarrassment for Mr Obama, who had promised a smooth roll-out for his signature health reforms.
His appointment was lauded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.
"Kurt is a talented and capable executive, with a track record of successfully managing complex large-scale technology projects," Mr Gates said in a statement.
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