Life Sciences Insight

Medtech Continues to See High CEO Turnover Rate in 2022

Verily Lifesciences is the latest to see a leadership shake-up.

During another year that has seen a high rate of c-suite professionals leaving their jobs, including those throughout the medtech industry, more executives are again on the move. 

Although the rate of executives vacating their roles had trended downward in June and July, as compared to 2021, the number of changes among CEOs in the U.S. rose by 9% in August. The 58 CEO exits recorded in July had been the lowest monthly total since April 2020, but the recent flurry of activity brings the total number of CEOs who have changed posts in 2022 to 895 as of Sept. 21, according to a new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm. 

Technology firms led all industries in CEO turnover in September with 11 and have accounted for 98 in the year, the report finds. 

Among the more recent c-suite movements has been at Verily Life Sciences, San Francisco, CA, where the firm has announced that its founder Andy Conrad will become the organization’s executive chairman of the board and that current president Stephen Gillett will be promoted to CEO. 

Both appointments will take effect in January 2023 and are the result of a $1 billion investment round to fund continued growth and share changes to the leadership team at Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Mountain View, CA. 

The new capital will also reportedly be used to support a variety of Verily’s core initiatives that are focused on real-world evidence generation, healthcare data platforms, research and care, and the underlying technology that drives these initiatives, according to company officials. The company will also consider further investment in strategic partnerships, global business development, and potential acquisitions, according to a press release published in September.

Gillett joined Verily as an operational advisor after departing Google in 2020 and to lead the company’s effort to establish a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. He was named COO in November 2020. Before joining Verily, Gillett also served as co-founder and CEO of Chronicle, another Alphabet company that is now part of Google Cloud and focuses on cybersecurity initiatives. Before being employed by Alphabet, Gillett also held a number of executive roles at companies in a variety of industry sectors including Best Buy, Starbucks, and Symantec.

Separately, Verily also announced that its CMO Deepak Ahuja has taken another opportunity and is departing Verily. He will reportedly remain involved as an advisor once he transitions out of his current role at the end of September. The company said it has launched a search for Ahuja’s replacement.

 With the leadership changes, the company remains focused on generating and activating data from a wide variety of sources, including clinical, social, behavioral, and the real world, to arrive at the best solutions based on a comprehensive view of the evidence, officials said. Verily utilizes its recognized expertise and capabilities in technology, data science, and healthcare to enable the healthcare ecosystem to drive better health outcomes. 

Other medtech companies that have gone through (or are still going through) CEO transitions this year include Invacare, Better Therapeutics, Fluidigm, and iCad.

In another related developing trend, the report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. also found that the rate of women who are taking over the CEO roles at various companies continues to hover near 26%, which is similar to the year-end total that was reported in 2021 and up significantly from the 12% that was recorded in 2010. 

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