Google just hired a big name CEO in healthcare to coordinate all of its healthcare initiatives

Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg. Geisinger Health via PR Newswire
  • Google hired Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg to lead its healthcare efforts.
  • Feinberg’s role will be to coordinate all of the healthcare-related initiatives Google already has underway, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Google has been hiring healthcare executives as it seeks to expand its presence in the industry.

Google hired Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg to a new role leading the company’s healthcare efforts.

Feinberg will leave Geisinger on January 3, the Pennsylvania hospital system said in a statement. Jaewon Ryu, Geisinger’s current chief medical officer, will serve as interim president and CEO at Geisinger.

Feinberg’s role will be to coordinate the health initiatives Google has underway, including the work happening in artificial intelligence and devices, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

On Friday, Google AI senior fellow Jeff Dean tweeted about Feinberg’s new role at the tech giant.

“For the past 4-5 years we’ve been excited by our early work showing how AI can help improve healthcare, from detecting cancer and eye disease to alerting doctors when patients urgently need care,” Dean tweeted. “Now we’re thrilled to welcome Dr. David Feinberg to help us organise our health efforts at Google and enhance our collaborations with Verily and across Alphabet.”

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Feinberg has been at Geisinger, a health system in Pennsylvania that provides health insurance as well as care through its medical centres, since 2015. Prior to that, he served as CEO of UCLA’s health system. Ryu is an emergency medicine physician who previously worked as an executive at the health insurer Humana. He joined Geisinger in 2016.

A representative from Google on Friday referred Business Insider to Dean’s tweet but didn’t comment further on the hire.

At Google, Feinberg will join former Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove, who recently joined the company as an adviser to Google Cloud. A unit of Google’s parent company also hired former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf last year.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has a number of bets in healthcare ranging from Verily, its life sciences arm that’s developing everything from glucose-monitoring contact lenses to surgical robots, to Calico, its life-extension spinoff. Google AI has some projects in the healthcare space as well as through DeepMind.

The company has also made a number of investments in healthcare through its venture funds GV and Capital G as well as through Alphabet itself.

This isn’t the first time Feinberg has had a brush with tech. In June, CNBC reported that he was in talks to lead the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan healthcare joint venture. That role ultimately went to Dr. Atul Gawande.