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- Troubled microbiome-testing company uBiome just added two new board members who specialize in restructuring troubled companies.
- Founded in 2012, uBiome raised $105 million from investors on the promise of exploring the "forgotten organ" that is the microbiome. In April the FBI raided uBiome’s headquarters, reportedly related to the company’s billing practices.
- As recently as April, the startup had six board members. That number dwindled down to one amid a string of resignations, including the company’s two cofounders.
- The new board members are Spencer Wells, a partner at Drivetrain Advisors, and Jan Baker, a retired partner at Latham & Watkins.
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The troubled poop-testing firm uBiome just named two new board members to help guide the startup as it grapples with the departures of its top leaders and the fallout of an FBI investigation.
The two new board members are Spencer Wells, a founder and partner at Drivetrain Advisors, a firm that specializes in helping fix companies, and Jan Baker, a retired partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins, where he served as the global co-chair of the corporate restructuring group.
"Although uBiome is in a challenging period of transition, tremendous work has already been accomplished by the Board and new management team to restructure the company and put it on the right path towards growth," Wells and Baker said in a statement sent to Business Insider. "uBiome’s core technology and product portfolio are highly compelling, and we look forward to sharing and providing our expertise as the company embarks on its next chapter."
Founded in 2012, uBiome raised $105 million from investors and achieved a $600 million valuation, on the promise of helping people understand the bacteria in their body, called the microbiome. The company’s troubles first burst into public view in April, when the FBI raided the startup, as part of an investigation into uBiome’s billing practices, The Wall Street Journal reported.
After the FBI raid, cofounders Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte wereplaced on leave from their roles as co-CEOs, and General Counsel John Rakow was named interim CEO. In June, Richman and Apte resigned from the company, leaving 8VC partner Kimmy Scotti as uBiome’s sole board member. Rakow departed at the end of June as well.
The company said at the time that it planned to bring on new board members, who have "deep experience guiding companies in complex situations." Three executives from the consulting firm Goldin Associates were named to run uBiome.
Earlier this month, a round of layoffs reduced the company’s workforce by half.
uBiome’s board had six members as recently as April. In May, two board members resigned, while in April, former Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez left the board as well.
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