Meet the 3 people spearheading the new Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway health care venture

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Yahoo Finance
Berkshire Hathaway’s Todd Combs speaks with Yahoo Finance’s Andy Serwer.
Berkshire Hathaway’s Todd Combs speaks with Yahoo Finance’s Andy Serwer.

Industry titans Amazon (AMZN), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) are working together to address rising health care costs in the U.S. for their employees.

While the respective firm’s high-profile leaders — Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and Warren Buffett — made the announcement, the effort will be spearheaded by three lesser-known individuals before a longer-term management team, headquarter location, and other operational details are announced.

JPM’s Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold

From JPMorgan, that person is Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a managing director at the bank.

Sullivan Berchtold joined JPMorgan in August after almost eight years at Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis where she most recently served as the global head of M&A.

While at Novartis, she represented the company in over $100 billion in transactions, according to her LinkedIn profile. Some of her high-profile deals include buying GSK’s Oncology portfolio for $16 billion and selling Novartis Animal Health to Lilly for $5.4 billion. In addition, she served as a board member for more than two years at GSK Consumer Healthcare, a joint venture between GSK and Novartis.

Sullivan Berchtold holds degrees from the University of Virginia School of Law and the London School of Economics.

Amazon’s Beth Galetti

Representing Amazon is Beth Galetti, the company’s senior vice president of human resources. In late 2017, a number of press reports pointed out that Galetti was the sole senior woman on the so-called “S-team” at the tech giant reporting directly to Bezos.

Prior to joining Amazon in 2013, Galetti worked for FedEx, holding a variety of roles including vice president of planning, engineering, and operations as well as the chief information officer for FedEx EMEA.

Not only does Galetti have experience in recruiting for one of the most prominent tech companies in the world, she also has experience leading teams for huge projects. For example, while at FedEx, she led a team of 100 software developers for the package tracking system during the process of migrating the existing system to a new technology.

“What surprised me most was that it wasn’t enough to be ‘right’ — knowing what to do and actually getting it done required two different leadership skills. I had some quick, tough life lessons about the importance of communicating with my team and my peers, and how to break a large problem into pieces to take things one step at a time. It was much harder than I thought — but also critical to being a successful leader,” Galetti recalled in an interview with Biz Journals in November.

Galetti graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor’s in electrical engineering. She earned an MBA from Colorado Technical University.

Berkshire’s Todd Combs

And from Berkshire Hathaway is one of Buffett’s investment deputies, Todd Combs, a value investor who previously ran hedge fund Castle Point Capital for five years. Combs, who graduated from Florida State University and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, joined Berkshire Hathaway in 2010. He’s a member of JPMorgan’s board of directors.

Last year, Combs told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer that his job at Berkshire Hathaway consists primarily of reading.

In fact, he estimates that he spends 80% to 90% of his time reading, whether it’s combing through SEC filings, scanning conference call transcripts, or devouring a couple of dozen trade magazines. For him, the reading commences when he gets into Berkshire’s offices on Farnam Street at 7:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m.

“I read until about 7:00 or 8:00 at night,” Combs said. “And I go home, and see my family, and then I’ll read for another hour or two in bed at night.”

During that interview, Buffett commented that Combs and his other investment deputy, Ted Weschler, are the only two people that he and Charlie Munger could find that read as much as they do.

Combs has likely been reading a lot about health care lately.

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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