Elizabeth Holmes is an American national. Her birth name is Elizabeth Anne Holmes. However, she is a businesswoman who gained popularity as the founder and the former CEO of Theranos, a now-defunct health technology company. In addition, she dropped out of Stanford University and started Theranos in the year 2003 at the age of 19.
Holmes was born on 3rd February 1984, in Washington, D.C. Therefore, she is 39 years years old.
The early life of Elizabeth Holmes
Her parents are Christian Holmes IV and Noel Anne Daoust. Her father was working for government agencies, such as USAID. On the other hand, her mother was a congressional committee staffer. So, she grew up in Houston, Texas, and she attended St. John’s School where she showed an early interest in technology and computer programming.
After graduating from high school, she joined Stanford University in 2002 for a chemical engineering course. During her first year, she came up with the idea of a portable blood-testing device that could revolutionize medical diagnostics. Therefore, she dropped out of the University at 19 years to and ventured into her entrepreneurial ambitions. She founded Theranos in the year 2003.
So, her idea of Theranos was to develop a device that would perform a wide range of tests using only a few drops of blood from a finger prick. She suggested that this would make blood testing faster, cheaper, and more accessible. However, the innovation and its capabilities were called into question later.
Holmes got engaged in 2018 to William “Billy” Evans. He was a 27-year-old heir of a hospitality management company. However, they got married in 2019.
Elizabeth Holmes Theranos Scandal
- She claimed to have developed a revolutionary blood-testing technology to perform several tests using just a few drops of blood. So, she presented herself as a visionary entrepreneur and this made her a prominent figure in Silicon Valley. However, she secured great investments from high-profile investors and was named the youngest self-made female billionaire by Forbes.
- However, in the year 2015, investigations by The Wall Street Journal exposed major flaws and inaccuracies in her innovation. It was revealed that Theranos was not using their devices for most tests and relied on traditional commercial machines. Thereafter, the company got scrutiny by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA. She was later accused of deceiving investors and patients.
- In 2018, Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former Theranos president were charged with fraud of different levels by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). These charges alleged misleading investors, doctors, and patients about the capabilities of Theranos’ technology and the company’s financial health.
- In August 2021, she was tried in a federal court on 11 counts of fraud which she pleaded not guilty. In January 2022 she got convicted on 4 counts of defrauding investors, 3 counts of wire fraud, and 1 count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They found her not guilty on 4 counts of defrauding patients and failed to reach a verdict on the other counts. However, later in the year 2022, Balwani took trial and was also found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In 2022 November, Elizabeth was sentenced to serve more than 11 years in prison.
- Her report to prison had been delayed due to her appeal. However, her appeal to delay further was rejected was ordered to report to prison by 30th May.