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Amazon puts former Kindle leader in charge of its pharmacy business

It's not who you'd expect to run a health care outfit.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 27, 2019
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Amazon's entry into the pharmacy business might not have the leader you'd expect. CNBC has learned that the online retailer has picked Nader Kabbani, an executive who helped establish the Kindle self-publishing system and has worked in Flex and logistics, to head the pharmacy team. While he has supply chain and delivery experience, he's new to health care and pharmaceuticals -- an unusual choice given the frequent challenges involved in haggling drug prices and ensuring distribution.

Everyone at PillPack, the online pharmacy Amazon bought in June 2018, will report to Kabbani. CNBC sources claimed that Kabbani was instrumental to completing the PillPack deal, snapping it up in spite of Walmart's attempts to acquire the company.

Amazon has declined to comment.

This doesn't necessarily suggest that Amazon's fledgling pharmacy strategy is in trouble, particularly when PillPack's leadership is still around. They could handle the industry-specific obstacles while Kabbani addresses the top-level issues. However, the choice of leadership suggests that Amazon sees this more as a logistical concern than something that requires specialist experience.

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