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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