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


About Peter Coffaro 477 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 25 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. Recognized by the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University.

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