Amazon continues its push into the pharmacy business, and has appointed a 14-year vet to run it

Amazon recently appointed Nader Kabbani to run its new pharmacy business.

Kabbani, a 14-year veteran at Amazon, helped build the Kindle self-publishing platform and has served as the company’s vice president in the logistics business, is now “vice president of consumables, special projects,” according to a report by CNBC.

When Amazon bought PillPack in 2018, the $800 million purchase price included the entire PillPack team, including CEO TJ Parker, technology head Alan Gao, and product chief Elliot Cohen. That team will report directly to Kabbani.

The pharmacy business has huge potential for Amazon, with more than 4 billion prescriptions ordered in the U.S. each year. With PillPack, the company is ready to burst into the home delivery market, and possibly add retail pharmacy locations at Whole Foods, which Amazon purchased in 2017.

Kabbani’s appointment means Amazon is putting this new project, which has huge revenue possibilities for the company, into the hands of an executive who has a great deal of experience in logistics and supply chain—but no background in pharmaceuticals or healthcare

Amazon’s purchase of PillPack was one of its most visible moves into the healthcare industry, but it had started hiring a team for its pharmacy business in 2017. The company hasn’t announced any plans for PillPack and hasn’t added many new health products into its marketplace. It already sells at-home DNA tests, over-the-counter pills such as pain relievers, and medical supplies like gauze and bandages.

“No matter how complicated healthcare may be behind the scenes, consumers see pharmacy as just another e-commerce category,” said Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of internet pharmacy startup CareZone. “They want modern digital experiences. Traditional providers ought to be rethinking their approach to customer retention.”

Kabbani will report to Amazon Vice President of Consumables Sunny Jain, a former managing director at Procter & Gamble.

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