recommended reading

Microsoft Executive to Lead

Microsoft file photo

A Microsoft executive will step in for the White House’s former Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients to manage the Obama administration’s troubled online health insurance marketplace, officials announced on Tuesday.

Kurt DelBene, who headed the Microsoft Office division, will lead the team operating for at least the first half of 2014, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. His official title will be senior adviser to the secretary.

DelBene will lead the team at it transitions from a two-month “tech surge” to repair a site that was nearly completely crippled upon launch to a period more focused on maintenance  and responding to consumer demands.

Since a self-imposed repair deadline of Nov. 30, officials say has been functioning smoothly with error rates lower than 1 percent and page response times of less than 1 second. It’s still unclear whether the upgraded site will draw in enough insurance seekers to make a key element of President Obama’s landmark health care reform law sustainable.

In a statement forwarded by the Health and Human Services Department, Microsoft founder Bill Gates called DelBene “a talented and capable executive, with a track record of successfully managing complex large-scale technology projects” and “a passionate advocate for using technology to solve difficult problems at scale.”

Sebelius added, “Kurt has proven expertise in heading large, complex technology teams and in product development.”

Obama appointed DelBene’s predecessor Zients to lead the National Economic Council but later drafted him to head up the fix on a temporary basis when it became clear the repair required a single manager inside government.

U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel is also a former Microsoft executive. 

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.