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On Their Way Out

Verily, Alphabet's life science company, is losing its top managers, Stat News reports, laying the cause of the departures at the feet of CEO Andrew Conrad.

Conrad is "a divisive and impulsive leader," people who know or have worked with him tell Stat News. "We used to joke and call [Conrad] the 'seagull of science.' He used to fly in, squawk, crap over everything, and fly away," says Michael Luther, former president of a North Carolina research institute that Conrad helped found.

While much of what goes on at Verily is kept under a tight lid, Stat News says that about a dozen managers, scientists, and engineers have left it for other spots at Google or for competitors. Among those who've left are Diane Tang, a Google fellow, Kobus Jooste, who was one of Verily's first employees, and Jeff Huber, who oversaw the development of Verily at the Google X incubator, has departed to start competitor Grail, Stat News adds.

Though job changes in Silicon Valley aren't unexpected, technology analyst Rob Enderle says that people who leave such well-backed startups give up the possibility of making a bit of money down the line, which he says indicates that the people leaving Verily "are losing confidence in the leadership." Verily declined to respond to Stat News' questions.

Ongoing projects at Verily are exploring both the use of contact lenses to monitor glucose levels in people with diabetes and the development of a baseline of human health.