Co-founder of brain implant startup Neuralink leaves the company

Elon Musk's firm has yet to ship a product.

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Elon Musk's Neuralink is running into management challenges before it even ships a product. The Byte reports that Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak quietly left the company "a few weeks ago." He didn't say why he left the brain-machine interface firm, but said he was still a "huge cheerleader" for his former employer's work.

Neuralink hasn't named a replacement. We've asked the company for comment.

It's not certain to what degree this will hurt Neuralink, although the timing isn't ideal. The company just recently demonstrated its implant technology with a monkey — it's supposed to be moving closer to a finished product. This doesn't necessarily mean the company is in trouble, but Hodak's exit could complicate attempts to translate Neuralink's work to practical products.

Musk is no stranger to high-profile executive departures. They've typically taken place at far more established companies like Tesla, however, and some execs (such as former CTO JB Straubel) have gone out of their way to emphasize a positive relationship. Hodak's situation isn't quite so tidy, even if there aren't any immediate signs of an acrimonious split.