Chutes & Ladders—Califf tapped to lead Alphabet's health strategy; Humana gets new marketing exec

Graphic of workers with parachutes and ladders
(Lia Shaked)

Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please submit the good news—or the bad—from your shop, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

profile photo of Robert Califf, M.D.
Robert Califf, M.D.
(Duke Health/Duke University)


Robert Califf, M.D., the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, was hired by Google parent company Alphabet to lead its health strategy and policy. In his new role, Califf will serve as head of strategy and policy across the company's Google Health and Verily Life Sciences enterprises beginning Nov. 18, according to a blog post on Duke University's website. 

Iz Conroy, a media representative for Google, confirmed Califf would be joining Alphabet. Califf has been serving as an adviser at Verily, Alphabet's biotech division, since 2017.

The former FDA commissioner currently serves as vice chancellor for data sciences for Duke Health, director of Duke Forge and Donald F. Fortin, M.D. professor of cardiology. Califf will remain on faculty at Duke University as an adjunct professor in the School of Medicine, the university said.

Califf is the first known hire whose duties span both Google Health and Verily, according to CNBC.

Jennifer Bazante


Jennifer Bazante was named Chief Marketing Officer for Humana Inc.  

Bazante will play a key strategic leadership role in helping achieve growth objectives across Humana’s segments and lines of business and oversee Humana’s strategy for both direct-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing across a wide array of traditional and digital channels.

Bazante joined Humana in 2014 as vice president of marketing and most recently served as senior vice president of brand and acquisition marketing. She also previously worked as head of global brands and product marketing at Visa.

Ryan Schneider 

Anthem Inc.

Ryan Schneider, who is the CEO of Realogy Holdings Corp., was named part of the Board of Directors of Anthem, Inc.

Schneider previously served as president for Capital One’s Card division, where he was responsible for U.S., U.K., and Canada credit card businesses. He also previously served as a partner at McKinsey and Company focused on its financial services clients. Schneider is on the board of directors of Realogy Holdings Corporation and previously served on the board of directors of Capital One.

He is expected to bring expertise in rapidly changing consumer business areas including product design, high impact marketing, big data and risk management excellence, as well as experience in leading a significant digital transformation, officials said.  

Tom Kornfield
(Avalere Health)

Avalere Health

Tom Kornfield was named a senior consultant at Avalere Health. He is rejoining Avalere after serving as America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), where he served as vice president of Medicare policy for three years.

In his new role, he will help payer organizations, life sciences companies, and healthcare providers anticipate and adapt to the latest trends in Medicare.

Previously, Kornfield also spent 10 years at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), where he held a variety of positions focused on Medicare Advantage and Part D payment policy as well as work with Coventry Health Care, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, and the Senate Finance Committee.

> Dialyze Direct, LLC named Gerald “Jerry” Levin, former CEO of Time Warner and HBO, Chief Mission Officer of the kidney care company as well as chairman of Dialyze Innovation Group.

> BHI's Andrea S. Kantor was appointed the head of Healthcare and Not-For-Profit at BHI, a full-service commercial bank in New York. In the role, Kantor will oversee a team delivering financing and banking solutions to BHI clients in the senior housing sector, as well as lead the practice in expanding to other healthcare-related areas.

> Benjamin Hansen was named to the board of directors for hospital pharmacy solutions provider Comprehensive Pharmacy Solutions. Prior to joining CPS, he most recently served as Chief Operating and Financial Officer for Avaap.

> Lisa Valentine was named CEO of HCA Healthcare's Orange Park Medical Center. Valentine has been with HCA since 1992, most recently as CEO for HCA’s Summerville Medical Center located near Charleston, South Carolina.