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WASHINGTON — Only two years ago, Michelle McMurry-Heath was named chief executive of BIO, the world’s largest biotech trade organization. She was hailed by her predecessor as a “great leader.”

So her swift and abrupt exit from the role earlier this month shocked the industry. But it was set in motion in late summer, when the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s board of directors dispatched an outside firm to produce an “assessment” of her performance. The firm interviewed 35 employees.

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