Theranos Executive Sunny Balwani to Depart Amid Regulatory Probes
Departure of president and operating chief comes amid broad reorganization at embattled companyAnd from Reuters via Yahoo:
A top executive who helped build Theranos Inc. into a major blood-testing laboratory is leaving the company amid regulatory probes of the embattled Silicon Valley firm.
The departure of Sunny Balwani as Theranos president and chief operating officer comes amid a broader board reorganization announced by the Palo Alto, Calif., firm. In a release late Wednesday, Theranos said it is expanding its board, adding three members to beef up its scientific and medical expertise.
The 50-year-old Mr. Balwani, a top associate of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, leaves in the wake of last month’s news that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. attorney in San Francisco are investigating whether the company misled investors and regulators about the state of its technology and operations. Theranos said it is cooperating with the investigations.
Theranos also is attempting to persuade the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees clinical labs, not to shut down its northern California laboratory. Closure of the lab would result in Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani being barred from the blood-testing business for at least two years, under federal regulations.
Mr. Balwani joined Theranos as its No. 2 executive in 2009, five years after Ms. Holmes founded the company upon dropping out of Stanford University as a 19-year-old sophomore.
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Theranos’ mission to make healthcare accessible through its technology and products,” Mr. Balwani said in a statement. “I will continue to be the company’s biggest advocate and look forward to seeing Theranos’ innovations reach the world.”
Theranos spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said Mr. Balwani isn’t being blamed for the company’s regulatory problems. Rather, she said, his departure is merely part of a broader reorganization that will see the company appoint a new chief medical officer, to whom its labs will report, a new head of research and a new operating chief. The company is actively recruiting for those positions. Depending on the new COO’s profile and qualifications, he or she could take on both the operating chief and head of research roles, she added.
Theranos declined to make Mr. Balwani available for comment....MUCH MORE
Blood-testing firm Theranos Inc said it was adding three new members to its board of directors, and announced the retirement of its chief operating officer.
Theranos has been in the spotlight after reports last year suggested that the company was relying on traditional lab tools as it struggles with its own technology. It is currently being investigated by several U.S. regulators.
On Wednesday, Theranos said it would expand its board to include Dr. Fabrizio Bonanni, a former Amgen Inc and Baxter International Inc executive.
The other additions are Dr. William Foege, a former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Richard Kovacevich, former chief executive officer of Wells Fargo & Co....MORE