Theranos president and chief operating officer Sunny Balwani is leaving the embattled blood-testing firm amid a broader restructuring which includes the addition of three members to the board of directors, the company announced on Wednesday.
Balwani was the top associate of founder Elizabeth Holmes. His exit from the firm follows last month’s news that the Securities Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have launched investigations into whether Theranos misled investors and regulators regarding the state of its technology and operations, according to the report.
Theranos is also working to keep CMS from shutting down its northern California laboratory, which would result in Ms. Holmes and Mr. Bulwani being barred from the blood testing business for a minimum of two years under federal regulations, according to the report.
Bulwani joined Theranos in 2009, five years after Ms. Holmes founded the company. A spokeswoman for the company said Mr. Bulwani isn’t being blamed for the company’s regulatory issues, but that his departure is part of a broader reorganization of Theranos’ leadership, The Wall Street Journal reported. As part of the reorganization, Theranos will appoint a new CMO, who will oversee all of its labs; a new head of research; and a new COO.
The three new directors appointed to the board were selected to bring “a wealth of scientific, medical and executive leadership to the company,” an announcement from Theranos said, according to the report. The new board members include Fabrizio Bonanni, a 14-year veteran of Amgen, former Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Richard M. Kovacevich and William Foege, a former director of the CDC.