Amazon, JPMorgan & Berkshire Hathaway Bet on Boston

— The Boston WE Team 

News broke this week that top executives at some of the largest and most successful businesses in the U.S. have selected a CEO for their mysterious healthcare joint venture and that it will be based in Boston.

The pick for CEO, Dr. Atul Gawande, has raised some eyebrows. Media and healthcare industry leaders have concerns that Dr. Gawande may have limited business leadership experience and that he will continue to hold several other positions while at the helm of an organization whose mission is to completely transform healthcare for over one million employees. Others believe he is the perfect choice. He is highly praised for his gift for distilling complex problems to their essence and looking for simple, repeatable interventions that could improve patients' lives, whether in elite academic teaching hospitals or in clinics in some of the poorest countries in the world. Based on Gawande's track record, this could be a transformative moment for American health care more broadly. 


Boston: A Home for Health Tech

Here at WE Boston, we’re excited that this disruptive initiative will be based in our city, one that has emerged as a hub for all things healthcare, health tech and biotech/pharma-related. With this announcement, the expectation is that the number of healthcare-focused organizations in the Boston area will skyrocket as they seek to have a presence to be near the hub. Here are a few reasons why we think Boston was the right choice for this endeavor:

  • A lot of brilliant people are here in New England. Dr. Gawande will have a rich talent pool to choose from – from the Ivy Leagues to some of the world’s top medical research institutions.
  • Cambridge has become a hotbed of R&D for pharmaceutical and biotech companies, with several calling the Bay State home, including Vertex and Biogen.
  • The city of Boston is expanding – from the ongoing revitalization in the Seaport to the development of East Boston – with rumors swirling that Amazon could be considering that area for its own HQ.
  • The local government is very supportive of the industry. Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed into law a five-year, $500 million economic development bill for the life sciences sector, which should help the state hold on to its status as “the world’s biotech hub.”

As WE continues to expand our presence here in Boston, we’re thrilled to have this yet-to-be-named company in our city and excited to see what other companies follow. Dr. Gawande has proven to be a force for change in the healthcare industry so we’ll also be anxiously awaiting more details on what’s next.