U.S. News


Former Microsoft Exec To Take Over Healthcare.gov

Kurt Delbene will start working for the government on Wednesday and work for at least half a year.
Posted at 5:15 PM, Dec 17, 2013

In the continuing effort to get Healthcare.gov up to speed, the White House announced former Microsoft exec Kurt DelBene will now take over the troubled website.

“For any of you who know Mr. DelBene’s background you will know he is uniquely suited to this task, has vast experience.” (Via NBC)

DelBene worked as president of Microsoft’s Office Division after joining the company in 1992. DelBene will begin working for the government on Wednesday and will stay in that role for at least six months.

CBS reports he will help with specific goals of increasing stability and advancing the user interface.

“DelBene will be leading those efforts. He takes over for Jeffrey Zients who really has been in the fire for the last couple of months working out the kinks with that website.” (Via CNN)

Upon leaving, Zients is set to become the director of the National Economic Council in 2014. (Via The White House)

But take Healthcare.gov's problems so far, and add a big name like Microsoft and there are sure to be some jokes. Exhibit A: Twitter

Slate's Matt Yglesias, for example, joked: "Somehow I'd feel better if they'd gotten someone from Google." (Via Twitter / @mattyglesias)

Others are optimistic about DelBene's arrival. CNBC's Jon Fortt calls this new choice a wise one.

“Great pick I got to say I mean he ran the Outlook team, ran Microsoft’s business division. This is exactly the back end data center type software stuff that healthcare.gov needs to get right.”

Healthcare.gov experienced many problems since its debut. The website is still missing features such as a Spanish language option and a small business feature. Those are expected to be rolled out in the future.