Engineer to manage

December 19, 2013. The Obama administration has announced that Kurt DelBene, who most recently served as president of the Microsoft Office Division, will succeed Jeff Zients as senior advisor to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. DelBene will manage the Website and the health-insurance marketplace.

DelBene holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago, a Master of Science from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona.

DelBene will succeed Jeffrey Zients. Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “The search for a successor involved, in addition to the Secretary and members of her team, certainly Mr. Zients and the Chief of Staff here, Denis McDonough.” He called DelBene “uniquely suited to this task,” citing his “vast experience with running a complex piece of technology.”

The New York Times quotes Microsoft founder Bill Gates as saying, “Kurt is a talented and capable executive, with a track record of successfully managing complex large-scale technology projects. Working with Kurt over many years, I know him to be a passionate advocate for using technology to solve difficult problems at scale. He brings deep expertise as a manager and engineer to his new responsibilities. I’m certain he’ll make an important positive contribution in his new role with H.H.S.”

As president of the Microsoft Office Division, DelBene drove Microsoft's global productivity strategy for information workers. He oversaw the engineering and marketing functions for a range of productivity products and services, including Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio.

Previously, he had served as the senior vice president for the Microsoft Business Division, responsible for the development of client and server software that collectively delivers to organizations and individuals a holistic productivity experience, including authoring, collaboration, communications, information sharing, and project management.

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