Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Amazon.com Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co within the next two weeks will likely name a chief executive for their joint venture aimed at lowering the cost of healthcare, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said in an interview aired on Thursday on CNBC.
Buffett, who is Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman, and JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in the interview that they had selected a person for the healthcare venture’s top job.
Famed for his love of junk food, Buffett has described U.S. healthcare costs as a “tapeworm” on American businesses, hurting their ability to compete with rivals in other countries. Last month, he said the goal is to challenge the entire healthcare industry, not individual segments.
“We’ve basically reached an agreement,” Buffett said. “We should have an announcement on that matter within maybe two weeks.”
While there is no guarantee the venture between Amazon.com, Berkshire, and JPMorgan, which collectively employ more than 1 million people, will succeed in lowering costs, Buffett said it was well positioned to try.
“The resistance will be unbelievable, and if we fail, at least we tried,” Buffett said last month.
Amazon’s size and reputation as a disruptor prompted investors to sell shares of companies that might be hurt by the venture when it was announced in January.
These included drugmakers, health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), such as CVS Health Corp and Express Scripts Holding Co.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Bill Berkrot)