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White House Taps Microsoft Executive To Run Obamacare Website

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In this handout provided by Microsoft, Kurt DelBene, President of Microsoft Office Division, left, and Neil Stevens, Vice President and General Manager of Skype Global Consumer attend a news conference about Microsoft's purchase of Skype on May 10, 2011 in London, England. (credit: JSang Tan/Microsoft via Getty Images)

In this handout provided by Microsoft, Kurt DelBene, President of Microsoft Office Division, left, and Neil Stevens, Vice President and General Manager of Skype Global Consumer attend a news conference about Microsoft’s purchase of Skype on May 10, 2011 in London, England. (credit: JSang Tan/Microsoft via Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — A Microsoft executive has been tapped to run HealthCare.gov.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that Kurt DelBene, who was recently president of the Microsoft Office Division, will be taking over for Jeff Zients.

“Kurt will work closely with me, the White House, and the teams and senior leadership in place at HHS and CMS to see this project through its next important phase as the CMS team continues to build on their initial progress,” Sebelius said in a statement. “He has agreed to serve in this role for at least the first half of next year. Because of the site’s progress, his responsibilities, while similar to Jeff’s, will reflect an evolution of focus as we move on to the next phase.”

DelBene is the husband of Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.

Nationwide, enrollment statistics showed that 364,682 people have signed up for private coverage as of Nov. 30 under the Affordable Care Act. Although that’s more than three times the October total, it’s less than one-third of the 1.2 million people officials had originally projected would enroll nationwide by the end of November.

The Obamacare website faced numerous glitches since its Oct. 1 launch, as it had to be taken offline numerous times in an effort to get fixed.

CBS News previously reported that the Obama administration were warned before the launch of the security issues and problems that were plaguing the website.

Several Republicans have called for Sebelius to step down due to the disastrous rollout.

Sebelius said in a statement that DelBene will make sure the “site’s performance is strong” through March 31, 2014, the close of open enrollment.

“This will include a focus on increasing system stability, redundancy and capacity, and building on improvements to the user interface, while continuing to prioritize security and privacy issues in line with industry best practices,” Sebelius said.

DelBene will start managing HealthCare.gov Wednesday.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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