Theranos’ founder and former CEO is Elizabeth Holmes. Theranos was a multibillion-dollar firm in 2014, and Holmes was the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire, with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Theranos was a unicorn firm in Silicon Valley that rose to the top thanks to Holmes’ fabrications.
Elizabeth Holmes has become one of Silicon Valley’s most divisive figures. On four of the eleven allegations of fraud, she was found guilty of criminal fraud. She now faces up to 80 years in federal prison, with each act of fraud carrying a 20-year sentence.
What brought Elizabeth Holmes to Theranos?
In 2003, Elizabeth Holmes walked out of Stanford University to launch the blood-testing company Theranos. The startup hopes to run over 200 medical tests on patients with just a few droplets of blood. Theranos created a contraption known as the Edison device to accomplish this.
The Edison device would just require a few drops of blood from the patient’s fingers. The gadget, according to Holmes, just needed a few drops of blood to complete many tests. As a result of this, the company’s value skyrocketed when it claimed to have transformed blood testing.
Theranos’ success, on the other hand, was largely due to Elizabeth Holmes’ repeated lies. The Edison device was also a ruse that exploited the machinery of other firms to conduct the actual tests. The firm also made bold statements about who it was collaborating with.
Elizabeth tried to keep everything under wraps by having her employees sign non-disclosure agreements and keeping the company’s proprietary processes hidden. But it wasn’t long before the truth was out.
Elizabeth Holmes’s and Theranos’ demise
Holmes misled investors and the government, according to various whistleblower allegations and regulatory probes published in 2015. The truth regarding the Edison machine was also disclosed as a result of the studies. In reality, the machine’s results were unreliable, and Theranos had been doing most of their testing with machines built by other companies.
Several lawsuits have been brought against Theranos and Elizabeth for scamming investors and falsely misrepresenting a product. Elizabeth still owes her investors millions in restitution and fines. On September 26, 2022, she will be sentenced.
However, it is yet unclear if she will be sentenced to prison. She is currently on bond and resides in her $135 million Silicon Valley mansion. The Dropout mini-series is available for those interested in learning more about Elizabeth Holmes’ journey.