Elizabeth Holmes is a known name when it comes to identifying women who have made a name for themselves by succeeding in business. She would later face major setbacks which affected her in so many ways and made people call her a disappointment. Read the article below and find out more about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes.
Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984, in Washington DC to her father, Christian Holmes IV, who was a government service worker and Noel Daoust, her mother, who is a congressional committee staffer. Her full name is Elizabeth Anne Holmes, she is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of Theranos, a private blood test company known today for its fake claims to have created another means whereby a very small amount of blood would be required to run a comprehensive blood test. She has a younger brother named Christian Holmes V and her role model is Steve Jobs.
She attended high school at St. John’s school in Houston. While in high school, Holmes had a keen interest in computer programming and had her first taste of business as she partnered with Chinese Universities who she sold C++ compilers to. After high school, Holmes went to Standford University where she would study chemical engineering and while in college, she became a President’s Scholar – an award which came with an allowance that could be used on any research of the awardee’s choice.
Holmes made good use of the allowance by working in a laboratory alongside Ph.D. candidates with Professor Channing Robertson as her adviser. After gathering more expertise while working at the Genome Institute of Singapore, where she collected patients blood samples with syringes, the inspiration for her own company was born. She had to leave school in March 2004 and use the money for her tuition to fund her idea.
Elizabeth Holmes’ Company, Theranos
Her idea was what metamorphosed into the consumer healthcare technology company based in Palo Alto, California which she named Theranos. The company, she said, would enhance consumers access to health care so as to make for early diagnosis of health issues. In other to gain approval and support, she pitched the company’s idea to a group of Stanford professors and all but one of them didn’t see the prospects and considered the idea “impossible”. Only Robertson, the then-dean at the Stanford engineering school, who she worked with while researching with Ph.D. candidates, came through for her and with his help, she was able to raise enough startup funds from venture capital, thus, Robertson became the first board member of the Theranos company.
The idea of Theranos put in clear terms was to access the health history of consumers with just a few droplets of their blood so that present and potential ailments could be diagnosed and treated before it became full blown. The company was incorporated in April 2004 and Holmes was just 20 years old at the time. Fast forward to eight months later and Holmes had raised $6 million to fund Theranos before the company started to generate funds and of course, they did. In six years (2004-2010), Theranos was worth more than $92 million in venture capital funds.
Former secretary of state, George Shultz and other renowned personalities which included another former secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, former Senate majority leader and former cardiovascular doctor, Bill Frist, former Georgia senator and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn, and former defense secretary, William J. Perry, joined the Theranos family between 2011 and 2014 in a board that was considered “the most illustrious board in U.S. corporate history”.
The company, which had before now managed to evade the attention of the media, attracted press coverage with its partnership with Walgreens in September 2013. Although the partnership ended in 2016, Walgreens provided blood collection centers for Theranos.
With all these going for her, Holmes was dubbed “The Next Steve Jobs” by Forbes in 2013 and was recognized as the youngest self-made billionaire (female) in 2014 as her company was worth $9 billion.
Theranos raised a whopping 700 million dollars from 2013 to 2015 on the claims that they had succeeded in developing a portable blood analyzer – Capillary Tube Nanotainer device – that has the ability to perform all laboratory tests.
The deficiency of Theranos was later exposed and also the part Holmes played in trying to cover it up. There was no other option than for the company to close its labs and testing centers. Investigations were carried out on Theranos by the US government regulatory bodies that supervise laboratories and they found a lot of discrepancies in the tests that were carried out on patients by Theranos.
It was also discovered that the blood testing machine in Theranos was giving false results. By July 2016, The Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) prohibited Holmes from owning, running or heading any lab testing industry for two years.
In December 2017, there was a lawsuit filed against Theranos by the state of Arizona accusing the company of selling 1.5 million blood tests to Arizonans and falsifying the facts about those tests.
Likewise in March, Holmes was sued for fraud and illegally raising more than $700 million from investors on false claims. In the bid to settle the charges against her, Holmes agreed to pay $500,000 fine and return 18.9 million shares she held in the company and also give up her voting power on Theranos. She was further banned from serving and as an officer or director of any public company for ten years.
The same lady who was seen as the youngest self-made female billionaire and one of the most powerful women in terms of business in 2013 was later tagged a failure and disappointment in business in 2017.
Net Worth – How Much is She Worth
In 2013, Elizabeth Holmes was worth $9 billion as a result of the inflow of funds into Theranos while in 2016, she was estimated to be worth $800 million but presently due to the shutting down of her company on charges of fraud, Forbes revised her estimated net worth from $4.5 billion to $0.
Marriage – Who is Her Husband?
For Elizabeth Holmes to have attained the height which she did in business, she must have made a lot of sacrifices and it must have affected her social and love life because there is nothing much about her love life or anyone she has dated or married. Many would have thought that being successful in business the way she was would have made a lot of men come into her life or at least she should have been married but surprisingly that is not the case for Elizabeth Holmes.
There was a certain time when there was a rumor of her being in a relationship with Ramesh Sunny Balwani an ex-president of Theranos. She never said anything officially as to whether they were actually dating and has never talked about marriage or even the thought of getting married someday. So presently, Elizabeth Holmes is not dating anyone and is not married.