While it is not a surprise, and had been reported previously, there is a certain dose of humor in Reuters reminding us that Jeffrey Zients, who is currently tasked with fixing Obamacare.gov Healthcare.gov (and which crashed yesterday for CNN when it experiment with the upgraded website), will soon be leaving his post and replace Gene Sperling as Obama's top economic advisor. Surely if anyone can fix the economy, it is the man who has hired every private sector sysadmin genius and managed to expand the 500 million lines of code website to accomodate a few more thousand simultaneous requests.... before it crashes again.
Jeffrey Zients, charged with fixing the troubled HealthCare.gov website, will be replaced when he leaves to start his new job as a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama, a White House official said on Monday.
Jennifer Palmieri, the White House communications director, told MSNBC that Zients' departure date as a special adviser for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is as yet unclear.
Zients was chosen by Obama in September to take over from Gene Sperling as director of the White House National Economic Council. That job is supposed to start on January 1.
"Right now Jeff is focused on the website," Palmieri said. "He's going to continue that for the immediate future. He will become the NEC director at some point, I'm not sure exactly the date.
"But the other thing that we want people to understand is that when Jeff does leave, that it was always going to be a short-term assignment for him, that he will be replaced by someone," Palmieri said.
An Amazon drone?
And as a reminder, this is who Zients is:
Zients was the chairman (2001–2004), chief executive officer (1998–2000), and chief operating officer (1996–1998) of the Advisory Board Company and former chairman (2000–2001) of the Corporate Executive Board. Both companies were founded by David G. Bradley and provide research and advice to corporations around the globe on best practices in management, strategy and operations. Zients and Bradley took each of the companies public through successful initial public offerings that made both men multimillionaires. At age 35, Zients was named to Fortune Magazine's "40 under 40" with an estimated wealth of $149 million.
Zients also cofounded the Urban Alliance Foundation.
Zients founded and was the managing partner of privately held Portfolio Logic LLC, an investment firm primarily focused on business services companies, that included Best Practices (Emergency Services management), Timbuk2 Designs (a retailer of backpacks, apparel and messenger bags) and Pediatrics Services of America. He was a member of the board of directors of XM Satellite Radio until its 2008 merger, and a board member at Sirius XM Radio until his Senate confirmation. Zients had also served on the boards of Revolution Health Group, Best Practices and Timbuk2 Designs.