In 2003, Stanford drop-out Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos, a med-tech company that promised to revolutionize the world of blood testing. At its height, it was valued at $9 billion, with notable investors including James Mattis and Henry Kissinger.
Amid a blizzard of controversy and allegations that its much-vaunted blood testing devices were actually inoperable, the company collapsed and closed its doors in 2018.
Now, Holmes has been charged with twelve counts of fraud and faces up to twenty years in prison for misleading Theranos’s investors about the viability of the company’s blood testing kits.
The rise and fall of Theranos and the trial of Elizabeth Holmes has become a referendum on the “fake it till you make it” culture of Silicon Valley, according to New York Times reporter Erin Griffith.
Today, Erin Griffith joins WORT news producer Jonah Chester to unpack the story of Theranos and offer the latest updates from Elizabeth Holmes’s ongoing trial.
Erin Griffith is a New York Times journalist based in the San Francisco bureau, where she reports on technology start-ups and venture capital.
Cover photo: “Elizabeth Holmes, chief executive officer and founder of Theranos, listens as Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, April 17, 2013” by Glenn Fawcett, public domain