HealthCare.gov finds new leader in Microsoft exec

The HealthCare.gov website has experienced several major upgrades and now has a new leader, former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene, according to a blog post from U.S. Department of Health & Humans Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"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 wrote today in the blog post.

Filling that role, DelBene will take the helm from Jeff Zients, a former corporate executive and one of President Barack Obama's economic advisers who led the "tech surge" team focused on fixing the glitch-ridden HealthCare.gov.

Obama appointee Zients had no plans to lead the federal insurance exchange website beyond December, NPR reported.

"Today, the site is night and day from what it was when it launched on October 1. I am very grateful for his service and leadership," Sebelius wrote of Zients.

The HHS secretary said DelBene will start his new role as her senior advisor on Wednesday and will stay on the job through at least the first half of 2014. Among his responsibilities, the former Microsoft exec will provide operations oversight and expertise on extra enrollment channels, field operations, marketing and communications. He also will address system stability, capacity, user interface, and security and privacy.

DelBene retired from his post at Microsoft effective Dec. 16, according to the software company.

His focus on security and privacy comes after four technology experts--including two university representatives--all testified last month that they thought HealthCare.gov was not a secure website, as FierceHealthIT reported.

To learn more:
- here's the HHS blog post
- read the NPR article
- check out his Microsoft bio

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