Palantir Dips on Word of New Hire

Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) has hired its first U.S. government chief medical officer, a former executive from IBM’s (NYSE:IBM) Watson Health business, as the data analytics company doubles down on its life sciences business.

While the company made its name in software used by government defense agencies, sales to health-related agencies in the federal government have doubled over the last year.

The company announced Monday its has hired Dr. Bill Kassler to lead public health and life sciences teams across Palantir’s domestic and global businesses.

Kassler, formerly deputy chief health officer at IBM Watson Health, told the media he would bring his expertise in clinical care and public health to the role, helping to connect the software to researchers who could benefit from it.

In his new role, Kassler said, he wants to help put Palantir’s technology in the hands of researchers who can use it to make smart decisions in the next pandemic.

He highlighted three areas he believes can be improved with the help of tech solutions like Palantir’s: patching supply chain issues, dealing with localized surges of cases, and tackling racial and ethnic disparities.

Palantir’s Foundry platform has played a significant role in the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as private companies’ handling of essential supply chains.

Palantir’s technology allows researchers to combine and overlay data sets in ways that can make supply chain weaknesses or outbreak hot spots more obvious, allowing them to act quickly on their findings.

PLTR shares lost 25 cents, or 1.1%, to $22.78.