- Former employees of Verily, Google’s ambitious life sciences venture, cited CEO Andrew Conrad as the main reason they quit, STAT reported.
- A STAT investigation identified a dozen key managers, scientists and engineers who left the startup in the past year.
- Of those who left, some went to work at Google while other signed on with Verily competitors.
STAT was told Conrad is divisive and impulsive, leading to low morale in the workplace. They also complained of a lack of focus and clear priorities. Employees risked firing if they talk to reporters, according to STAT.
The publication talked with both former colleagues and Verily employees. While colleagues described him as brilliant and enthusiastic, those who worked under him said he was demanding and erratic, assigning new projects “on a whim” at the expense of prior commitments. One former employee said he was often still at work at 11 p.m. in tears.
For a well-financed startup like Verily, losing so many of its top talent suggests serious problems, since they are willing to forego potentially lucrative financial payoffs down the line, technology analyst Rob Enderle told STAT.