Tony Trenkle, the lead tech executive behind the error-plagued HealthCare.gov site, is officially out.
According to an internal memo, which was sent to Medicare employees on Friday, Trenkle is taking a job in the private sector. It’s not clear which company Trenkle will join or if he’ll join a think tank. Aneesh Chopra, the former White House chief technology officer, tells me that Trenkle has been nearing retirement.
A Medicaid spokesperson would not respond to questions from reporters at a press conference this afternoon on whether Trenckle has been asked to leave the agency. The Obama Administration was deeply embarrassed by the technical issues with the online health exchange.
Related: Check out our full series on the “tech surge” to fix HealthCare.gov
“Our chief operating officer announced yesterday, Tony has accepted a position in private sector,” Medicare spokeswoman Julie Bataille told reporters this afternoon. “We’re certainly grateful to his service here. We’ve moved quickly to fill this position.”
Until recently, Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer who warned officials about the potential problems with the site, reported to Trenkle. Chao’s name has been splashed all over the media in recent weeks. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience,” he famously said, prior to the launch of the online exchange.
Trenkle isn’t the only high profile health-focused government to make the move to the private sector. Farzad Mostashari, former national coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently took a job at the Brookings Institute as a visiting fellow.
The Washington Post got its hands on the full memo. Read it here.
This story is developing. We’ll update you when we learn more — like whether the Obama administration is setting up Trenkle as a fall guy for the ACA’s rough online rollout.
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