gets help from former Microsoft executive

December 24, 2013

Two months ago, the Department of Health and Human Services launched the online health insurance marketplace known as The Obama administration had high hopes for the website because it was one of the first steps the nation widely took a stance on regarding data processing and the United States' earliest movements to implement nationwide health care. had a lot of potential, but a rush of tests resulted in a portal that has only allowed less than a million people to apply for health insurance policies in 2014, NBC News reported. Since the October 1 launch, the website's operations have shown improvements the news source added, but the website's leader Jeffery Zientis will be replaced by Kurt Delbene, the former president of Microsoft Office. 

"Kurt has proven expertise in heading large, complex technology teams and in product development. He will be a tremendous asset in our work," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on the agency's blog.

Delbene's expertise may come in handy, but he has only agreed to be a part of the HHS team for six months. Delbene has to improve the maximum capacity of, manage operations and provide advice on how to expand field operations and enrollment channels, so it seems like he has a lot of work on his hands in such a limited time period.

What sets Delbene apart from other professionals is that he has experienced these challenges before at Microsoft. In response to HHS decision to hire Delbene, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that "Kurt is a talented and capable executive, with a track record of successfully managing complex large-scale technology projects."

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