Google hires Geisinger CEO David Feinberg

Google has selected David Feinberg, president and CEO of Geisinger Health, to lead the company's health care initiatives.

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Geisinger confirmed Feinberg on Jan. 3, 2019, will leave the health system for Google, after the Wall Street Journal reported the news. Geisinger in a statement said Jaewon Ryu, an emergency physician who has served as the organization's EVP and CMO since 2016, will take over as acting president and CEO Dec. 1, 2018, and Feinberg will help with the transition.

Feinberg's role at Google is expected to focus on providing strategic direction for existing health care initiatives at Google, according to the Journal. Similarly, CNBC reports that the job will entail "figuring out how to organize Google's fragmented health initiatives."

Google currently has several health care-related projects in the works,  including Google Brain, an artificial intelligence team; the Nest home automation group, which is interested in health at home; and the Google Fit wearables team. Other health operations under Google's parent company Alphabet include Verily, an experimental life-sciences venture, and Calico, a team attempting to extend human longevity.

According to sources familiar with the search process, Google spent months looking for someone to head its health care initiatives. Candidates included health care consulting experts, hospital management leaders, and insurance leaders, CNBC reports. Since coming to Geisinger in 2015, Feinberg advocated for a patient satisfaction program that offers refunds for unsatisfactory care and DNA sequencing for patients as part of routine care. He's also worked to expand Geisinger's work in precision medicine and to make better use of the health system's vast EHR system. Before coming to Geisinger, Feinberg was CEO of UCLA's hospitals and president of UCLA Health System.

Feinberg joins growing health care team at Google, Alphabet

Feinberg isn't the only former health care executive that's joined Google and Alphabet, Modern Healthcare reports. Alphabet in July hired former Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove to be an executive advisor to its Google Cloud health care and life sciences team. The company has also brought on Michael Howell, former director of the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science and Innovation at University of Chicago Medicine as a chief clinical strategist for Google Research, and Vivian Lee, former CEO of University of Utah Health Care to serve as president of health platforms at Verily. Calico is led by former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson (Farr, CNBC, 11/9; Hopkins et. al., Wall Street Journal, 11/8; Wilde Mathews/MacMillan, MarketWatch, 11/8; Arndt, Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare, 11/9).

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