Alphabet’s Verb Surgical CEO Exits; Health Robotics Startup Hasn’t Named A Replacement

The CEO of Alphabet and Johnson & Johnson’s robotic surgery startup, Verb Surgical, left the company a little more than three weeks ago, he confirmed to Forbes on Friday. Scott Huennekens had been CEO of the company since it was founded in 2015.

Reached by phone Huennekens said that his last day was December 31, and that his departure was not under bad terms. He said he could not disclose anything further about why he left due to his nondisclosure agreement with the company. A spokesman for Verb also confirmed his departure, but would not provide any further details or the company’s plans to look for a new CEO.

Verb Surgical is currently developing a platform for robotic surgery and was formed out of a partnership between Alphabet’s life sciences arm Verily and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon in 2015. Little is know about the details of its technology, but it appears that once its products are released, it will attempt to compete with the likes of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robotic surgery platform.

The Mountain View, California-based company announced in 2017 that it had performed its first “digital surgical prototype” demonstration in January 2017 in front of Google co-founder Sergey Brin and J&J’s CEO Alex Gorsky. In past interviews Huennekens had shared his vision for “surgery 4.0,” where robotics and machine learning will be used as a tool in many kinds of surgical procedures. According to the company’s website it now has over 300 employees.

By Michela Tindera | Forbes

Image Credit: Verb Surgical

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About Peter Coffaro 629 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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