Amid questions about its technology, blood testing startup Theranos said on Wednesday that it has restructured its board, shrinking it from 12 to just five members, according to the New York Times.
Founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos is now valued at more than $9 billion (soon possibly more) based on its push to create blood tests that require just a few drops of blood from a finger prick. But earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published two scathing articles that questioned the accuracy of the privately held company’s technology and the candor of its founder.
Theranos has vehemently denied the Journal‘s claims.
As for the board restructuring, the company told the Times that it had made the change in July, long before the recent unfavorable media coverage. The new board is comprised of Holmes, Theranos Chief Operating Officer Sunny Balwani, construction executive Riley P. Bechtel, retired Marine Corps General James N. Mattis, and David Boies, who has been the startup’s outside legal advisor and is new to the board.
“We stand wholeheartedly behind the management, achievements, vision and commitment of this company,” the company’s board said in a statement to the Times.
Theranos’ board had been criticized as being short on medical expertise. William Foege, a former director for the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Bill Frist, a doctor by training and former U.S. senator, were the only two physicians.
They along with several former members of Theranos’ old board, including former cabinet members Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz, will join an advisory board of counselors for the company. Theranos has also created a four-person medical board for additional advice.
The new structure “codifies the way we have been running the business for a number of years,” Holmes said in the statement.
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