Elizabeth Holmes is a well-known name when it comes to identifying women who have made a name for themselves through business success. Later, she suffered major setbacks that affected her in so many ways that she was called a disappointment. Read the following article and learn more about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes.
Elizabeth Holmes was born in Washington DC on February 3, 1984, the daughter of her father, Christian Holmes IV, who was in the civil service, and her mother, Noel Daoust, 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-testing company that is now known for its bogus claims to have created another means by which a very small amount of blood would be required to perform 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. During high school, Holmes had a keen interest in computer programming and had her first taste of business when she worked with Chinese universities to which she sold C++ compilers. After high school, Holmes went to Standford University, where she studied chemical engineering, and during her studies, she became President’s Scholar – an award that came with a bonus that could be used for any research of the winner’s choice.
Holmes made good use of the allowance by working in a laboratory alongside doctoral students with Professor Channing Robertson as a consultant. After gaining more expertise during her work at the Genome Institute in Singapore, where she used syringes to collect blood samples from patients, the inspiration for her own company was born. In March 2004, she had to leave school and use the money for her tuition fees to finance her idea.
Elizabeth Holmes’ Company, Theranos
Her idea was to metamorphose into the health technology company based in Palo Alto, California, which she called Theranos. The company, she said, would improve consumer access to healthcare so that health problems could be diagnosed early. To get approval and support, she suggested the idea of the company to a group of Stanford professors, all but one of whom did not see the prospects and thought the idea was “impossible”. Only Robertson, the then Dean of Stanford Engineering School, with whom she worked during her research with Ph.D. students, stood up for her and with his help, she was able to raise enough seed capital from venture capital to make Robertson the first board member of the Theranos company.
The clearly formulated idea of Theranos was to access consumers’ health history with just a few drops of blood so that current and potential ailments could be diagnosed and treated before they could develop to their full potential. The company was founded in April 2004 and Holmes was only 20 years old at the time. Fast forward to eight months later, and Holmes had raised $6 million to fund Theranos before the company began generating funds, which of course it did. In six years (2004-2010) Theranos was worth more than $92 million in venture capital funds.
Holmes (right) in the Theranos lab with glamour editor Cindi Leive
Former Secretary of State George Shultz and other prominent figures, including another former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Majority Leader of the Senate and former cardiovascular physician Bill Frist, former Senator of Georgia and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee Sam Nunn, and former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry joined the Theranos family between 2011 and 2014 on what was considered “the most famous board in U.S. corporate history.
The company, which had previously managed to avoid media attention, caused quite a stir in the press with its partnership with Walgreens in September 2013. Although the partnership ended in 2016, Walgreens provided blood collection centers for Theranos.
Because all this applied to 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 between 2013 and 2015 claiming that they had succeeded in developing a portable blood analyzer – a capillary tube nanotainer device – capable of performing all laboratory tests.
The Theranos deficiency was later revealed, as was the role Holmes played in trying to cover it up. There was no other option but to close down the company’s laboratories and test centers. Investigations into Theranos were conducted by the US government regulators who oversee the laboratories and they found a lot of discrepancies in the tests Theranos performed on patients.
It was also found that the blood testing machine in Theranos gave wrong results. In July 2016, the Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) banned Holmes from owning, operating, or managing a laboratory testing industry for two years.
In December 2017, the State of Arizona filed a lawsuit against Theranos, accusing the company of selling 1.5 million blood tests to Arizonians and falsifying the facts about those tests.
Also in March, Holmes was sued for fraud and illegal procurement of more than $700 million from investors based on false allegations. In an attempt to settle the charges against her, Holmes agreed to pay a fine of $500,000 and return 18.9 million shares she owned in the company and also to give up her voting rights in Theranos. She was also banned from serving on the board of directors of all public companies for ten years.
The same lady, who in 2013 was considered the youngest self-made billionaire and one of the most powerful women in terms of the economy, was later described as a failure and disappointment in the economy in 2017.
Net Worth – How Much is She Worth
In 2013, Elizabeth Holmes was worth $9 billion due to the inflow of funds into Theranos, while in 2016 she was estimated at $800 million, but currently, due to the closure of her company for fraud allegations, Forbes revised its estimated net value of $4.5 billion to $0.
Marriage – Who is Her Husband?
For Elizabeth Holmes to have reached the business peak she has reached, she must have made many sacrifices and it must have affected her social and love life because there is not much about her love life or anyone she dated or married. Many would have thought that her success in business, as she was, would have brought many men into her life, or at least she should have been married, but surprisingly this is not the case with Elizabeth Holmes.
There was a time when there was a rumor that she was in a relationship with Ramesh Sunny Balwani, an ex-president of Theranos. She never officially said anything about whether they were actually together, and never talked about marriage or even the idea of getting married one day. So at present, Elizabeth Holmes is not seeing anyone and is not married.