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Former Microsoft exec named to oversee Obamacare website

Published on Dec 18, 2013 6:44 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Obama administration on Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013, announced the appointment of a former Microsoft executive to oversee its revamped website and expand on technology improvements achieved by the site's outgoing czar Jeffrey Zients.

Mr Kurt DelBene, who recently retired as head of the software company's Microsoft Office unit, will spearhead efforts to continue the overhaul of the website, which was set up to provide federally subsidised health insurance to millions of consumers in 36 states.

Mr DelBene, who starts his new job on Wednesday, takes over only days before a Dec 23 deadline for people to sign up for coverage to begin on Jan. 1, which could cause traffic on the newly revamped site to soar.

Mr Zients, a longtime aide to President Barack Obama, oversaw a five-week emergency fix that turned from a crippled online portal to one that now operates smoothly for most visitors. Mr Zients, an expert in crisis management, starts a new job as top economic adviser at the White House in January.

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