A founding member of Elon Musk’s Neuralink left the firm in recent weeks, the latest in a series of layoffs at the brain implant startup, according to two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Paul Merolla, who helped create Neuralink in 2016 and worked on its chip design programme, has resigned from the company. The reason behind Merolla’s resignation and his future plans were unknown.
According to the two sources, Neuralink was founded six years ago by eight people, including Merolla and Musk. Besides Musk, who was named as the company’s business CEO in a January corporate filing, Merolla’s departure leaves only one Neuralink founding member, implant engineer Dongjin “DJ” Seo, still with the company.
Neuralink, situated in Fremont, California, employs roughly 300 people and is backed by Google Ventures.
Max Hodak, former president of Neuralink, was one of the other founders, and Merolla collaborated closely with Musk on the company’s launch. It is unknown whether any problems at Neuralink contributed to the resignation.
Musk stated in a 2019 presentation that Neuralink hoped to gain regulatory approval for human implant trials by the end of 2020. Still, the startup has yet to receive such support or bring a product to market.
Merolla worked as a research scientist at IBM Corp’s “brain-inspired computing group” before joining Neuralink.