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23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki Talks Health Care, Theranos, Dating A-Rod on 'Re/code Decode'

"It’s up to all of us, the consumers, to take charge of our health. It’s almost like voting. It's your responsibility."

James Temple for Re/code

Anne Wojcicki does not lead a quiet life: Since 2006, she’s been the CEO of prominent genomics company 23andMe. She used to be married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. And recently, she’s been in the tabloids for dating someone who’s even more famous than Brin: New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.

“You might’ve dated someone not well known,” Re/code’s Kara Swisher pointed out on the latest episode of Re/code Decode. “I’m trying to think of who you could’ve picked. … Vladimir Putin?”

“I’m all for long-distance, but that seems far,” Wojcicki replied. “And also controversial.”

On the new podcast, Wojcicki also talked at length with Kara about her family of overachievers that includes her sister YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, how 23andMe bounced back from a public clash with the FDA and why she’s rooting for Theranos, the embattled blood-testing startup led by another of tech’s few female CEOs, Elizabeth Holmes.

“I love what they’re trying to do. I know Elizabeth well,” she said. “I have a ton of respect for them there.”

23andMe and Theranos are both reflective of a bigger movement in the health world, Wojcicki said. She believes the longtime norm of consumers not comprehending the health-care system, and therefore not being able to have a say in how doctors work, is coming to an end.

“It’s up to all of us, the consumers, to take charge of our health,” she said. “It’s almost like voting. It’s your responsibility.”

James Temple for Re/code

Listen to or download the episode in the audio player above, or click here to subscribe to Re/code Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher on iTunes; you can also find Re/code Decode on TuneIn, Stitcher and Clammr.

On Monday, Jason Del Rey will be in Kara’s chair to interview Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal, the co-CEOs of online and offline eyeglasses brand Warby Parker. And on Thursday, don’t miss Re/code Media with Peter Kafka. This week, Peter talks to Dan Lyons, the author of the new book “Disrupted.” Click here to subscribe to Re/code Media on iTunes.

Kara will be back this Friday on Too Embarrassed to Ask, her podcast with Lauren Goode of The Verge. Click here to subscribe to Too Embarrassed to Ask on iTunes right now. And you should also check out Re/code Replay, an archive of audio content from our events and interviews by Kara Swisher, Walt Mossberg, Peter Kafka, Ina Fried and more. To subscribe to that, click right here.

You can follow @Recode on Twitter for the latest on upcoming guests.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara. You can also suggest guests for the show on Twitter, and we’ll do our best to nab them for a Red Chair interview.

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