Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes
Quick Facts About Elizabeth Holmes
Celebrated Name Elizabeth Holmes
Age 40 years old
Nick Name Holmes
Birth Name Elizabeth Anne Holmes
Birth Date 1984-02-03
Gender Female
Profession Entrepreneur
Birth Nation USA
Place of Birth Washington DC
Nationality American
Ethnicity Mixed
Father Christian Rasmus Holmes IV
Mother Noel Anne Daoust
Brother Christian
Religion Christian
School St. John's School
University Stanford University
Marital Status Married
Husband William Billy Evans
Sexual Orientation Straight
Net Worth $0 Million
Source of Wealth Entrepreneur Career
Height 5 feet 7 inches
Weight 65 KG
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color Blonde
Body Build/Type Slim

Elizabeth Holmes is a former biotechnology entrepreneur and convicted fraudster who founded and was CEO of Theranos, a now-defunct health technology company that claimed to have revolutionized blood testing. The company's valuation soared to $9 billion, and Forbes named Holmes the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in the US. However, after revelations of potential fraud surfaced, Forbes revised its estimate of Holmes's net worth to zero. Investigations revealed doubts about the company's technology claims and whether Holmes had misled investors and the government. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos and Holmes with deceiving investors through false or exaggerated claims, and a federal grand jury indicted Holmes and former Theranos COO Ramesh Balwani on fraud charges. In January 2022, Holmes was convicted of defrauding investors and sentenced to serve 11+1⁄4 years in prison. Holmes's personal connections and ability to recruit the support of influential people, including Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, contributed to the credibility of Theranos. She was in a clandestine romantic relationship with Balwani during most of Theranos's history, and after the company's collapse, she started dating hotel heir Billy Evans, with whom she had a son in July 2021. Theranos and Holmes's careers are the subjects of a book, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, an HBO documentary, a true crime podcast, and a Hulu miniseries. 

Who is Elizabeth Holmes?

Elizabeth Holmes is a former American businesswoman who founded and was CEO of the now-defunct health technology company Theranos. The company, valued at nearly $10 billion, claimed to have revolutionized blood testing but came under scrutiny in 2015 for the validity of its tests. She had previously been named America's top self-made woman by Forbes in 2015. Theranos' decline began after doubts were raised about the company's technology claims, and investigations revealed allegations of misleading investors and the government. Holmes and Theranos were ultimately charged with deceiving investors through false or exaggerated claims about the accuracy of the company's blood-testing technology, in what was called "massive fraud." The case, U.S. v. Holmes, et al. began in August 2021. Holmes was convicted in 2022 of defrauding investors and sentenced to 11 years in prison. 

Elizabeth Anne Holmes, who was born on February 3, 1984, has her roots in Washington, D.C., USA. She is an American citizen and her ethnicity is mixed, as her mother has Danish ancestry. One of her great-great-great-grandfathers was Charles Louis Fleischmann, a Hungarian immigrant who founded Fleischmann's Yeast company. As of 2023, she is 39 years old. Elizabeth is the daughter of Christian Rasmus Holmes IV and Noel Anne Daoust and has a brother named Christian. Her father was formerly a vice president at Enron, an energy company that collapsed due to an accounting fraud scandal, while her mother worked as a Congressional committee staffer. Later on, her mother held executive positions in government agencies such as USAID, the EPA, and USTDA. Elizabeth is a Christian by faith. Elizabeth attended St. John's School and developed an early interest in computer programming, selling C++ compilers to Chinese universities during high school. She received Mandarin Chinese home tutoring arranged by her parents and later enrolled in Stanford University's summer Mandarin program. While at Stanford, she pursued chemical engineering, working as a student researcher and laboratory assistant in the School of Engineering. In her freshman year, she worked at the Genome Institute of Singapore where she collected blood samples with syringes and tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1). It was during this time that she filed her first patent application for a wearable drug-delivery patch. In 2004, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford School of Engineering and used her tuition money to start a consumer healthcare technology company. 

Elizabeth Holmes founded Real-Time Cures in 2003 with the mission to democratize healthcare. She aimed to conduct blood tests using only small amounts of blood, and after pitching the idea to her professor Phyllis Gardner, many other professors said it was impossible. Despite their response, Holmes persisted and got her advisor and dean at the School of Engineering, Channing Robertson, to back her idea. In 2003, Holmes renamed the company Theranos (a portmanteau of "therapy" and "diagnosis") and Robertson became the company's first board member. Holmes was an admirer of Apple founder Steve Jobs and copied his style, frequently dressing in a black turtleneck sweater. During most of her public appearances, she spoke in a deep baritone voice, although some former colleagues claimed to have heard her speak in a stereotypical woman's voice. Her family maintained that her deep voice was authentic. 

By the end of 2010, Theranos had raised more than $92 million in venture capital, and in July 2011, Holmes was introduced to former Secretary of State George Shultz. He joined the Theranos board of directors after a two-hour meeting. Holmes formed "the most illustrious board in U.S. corporate history" over the next three years. She operated Theranos in "stealth mode" until September 2013, when the company announced a partnership with Walgreens to launch in-store blood sample collection centers. In 2014, Forbes recognized Holmes as the world's youngest self-made female billionaire, and Theranos was valued at $9 billion and had raised over $400 million in venture capital. In 2015, Holmes established agreements with Cleveland Clinic, Capital Blue Cross, and AmeriHealth Caritas to use Theranos technology. Media attention increased, and her name appeared on 18 U.S. patents and 66 foreign patents by the end of 2014.

John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal initiated a secret, months-long investigation of Theranos after receiving a tip from a medical expert who thought that Theranos's Edison blood testing device seemed suspicious. Carreyrou spoke to ex-employee whistleblowers and obtained company documents. Holmes initiated a campaign through her lawyer David Boies to stop Carreyrou from publishing, which included legal and financial threats against both the Journal and the whistleblowers. Despite legal threats, The Wall Street Journal published Carreyrou's article in October 2015, detailing how the Edison device gave inaccurate results, and revealing that the company had been using commercially available machines manufactured by other companies for most of its testing. Carreyrou continued to report problems with the company and Holmes's conduct in a series of articles and, in 2018, published a book titled Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Holmes denied all claims and called The Journal a "tabloid". In January 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a warning letter to Theranos after an inspection of its Newark, California, laboratory uncovered irregularities with staff proficiency, procedures, and equipment.

Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, was indicted in 2018 on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. The prosecution alleged that Holmes and former Theranos COO and President, Sunny Balwani, were involved in two criminal schemes to defraud investors and doctors, and patients. Following the indictment, Holmes stepped down as CEO of Theranos but remained chair of the board. The trial began in August 2021, after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Holmes's pregnancy. Holmes testified in self-defense, but on January 3, 2022, she was found guilty on four counts of defrauding investors and not guilty on four counts of defrauding patients. The jury returned a "no verdict" on three counts of wire fraud against investors, and the government agreed to dismiss them. Holmes was sentenced on November 18, 2022, to 11+1⁄4 years in prison and ordered to surrender by April 27, 2023. Holmes's sentence included a fine of $400 and a three-year supervised release after the prison term. She could receive a reduction in her prison time with good behavior, which could put her sentence at 9+1⁄2 years with no possibility for parole. The judge recommended that she be incarcerated at a minimum security facility in Texas. After her conviction, Holmes and her partner allegedly attempted to flee when they bought one-way plane tickets to Mexico. However, Holmes's legal team said they bought the tickets with the hope the outcome of the case would have been different, and that she canceled her ticket after losing the case. The judge later ruled it was not an attempt to flee and denied her request to remain free on bail while she appealed her conviction.

The story of Elizabeth Holmes has had a significant impact on media and popular culture. Journalists have noted that the negative attention given to her has created a stigma for other women entrepreneurs in the sciences and healthcare industries who are often compared to her. Jennifer Lawrence was originally set to play Holmes in a film directed by Adam McKay, but after Amanda Seyfried's Emmy Award-winning portrayal in The Dropout miniseries, Lawrence called off the film, citing that it was unnecessary. The story has been the subject of several other media works, including John Carreyrou's book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, which was later adapted into a documentary and podcast series called The Dropout. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley is a documentary that premiered on HBO in 2019, which portrays the claims and promises made by Holmes in the last years of Theranos and how ultimately the company was brought down by the weight of many falsehoods. Holmes has also been portrayed in a musical number in an episode of the US comedy-drama Younger, and most recently, in the Hulu miniseries The Dropout, where Amanda Seyfried received a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Holmes.

Elizabeth Holmes Awards, Recognition, and Achievements

  • Elizabeth Holmes received widespread acclaim before the collapse of Theranos.
  • She was appointed a member of the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows in 2015.
  • Holmes was named one of Time magazine's "Time 100 most influential people" in 2015.
  • Forbes awarded her the Under 30 Doers Award in 2015, and she was ranked number 73 in its list of "the world's most powerful women".
  • Holmes was named Woman of the Year by Glamour and received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Pepperdine University.
  • She was awarded the 2015 Horatio Alger Award, making her its youngest recipient in history.
  • Holmes was named Fortune's Businessperson of the Year and was listed in its 40 Under 40 feature in 2015.
  • She was a member of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential in 2015.
  • However, in 2016, Fortune named Holmes in its article on "The World's 19 Most Disappointing Leaders".

Who is Elizabeth Holmes's Husband?

Elizabeth Holmes is married woman to her husband, William "Billy" Evans. The duo got engaged in early 2019. Evans is the heir to Evans Hotels, a family-owned group of hotels in the San Diego area, and they reportedly married in mid-2019 in a private ceremony. Although the couple has not directly confirmed whether they are legally married, they live in San Francisco and have a son born in July 2021. In October 2022, weeks before her sentencing hearing, it was reported that she was pregnant again and gave birth to a second child in February 2023 as part of an argument for delaying the start of her prison term.

Before her marriage to Evans, Holmes was romantically involved with Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, a technology entrepreneur and Pakistani-born Hindu who immigrated to India and then the US. They met in 2002 during a trip to Beijing, and Balwani was married to another woman at the time but divorced her in 2002. Holmes and Balwani became romantically involved in 2003, and the couple moved into an apartment together in 2005. Although Balwani did not officially join Theranos until 2009, he advised Holmes behind the scenes from the company's inception. Their romantic relationship was kept secret for much of their time running the company, and they jointly ran the company with a corporate culture of "secrecy and fear" according to employees. Balwani left Theranos in 2016 in the wake of investigations, and Holmes testified in 2021 that Balwani was very controlling during their romantic relationship, sometimes berating and sexually abusing her. However, she also stated that Balwani had not forced her to make false statements to investors, business partners, journalists, and company directors that were described in the case. 

How Rich is Elizabeth Holmes?

Elizabeth Holmes was once recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. In 2014, she made history by becoming the youngest self-made female billionaire, with her company Theranos being valued at $9 billion. Forbes ranked her at No. 110 on the Forbes 400 list and listed her as one of America's Richest Self-Made Women in 2015. She was also named Fortune's Businessperson of the Year and was featured on its 40 Under 40 list. Her net worth at that time was estimated at $4.5 billion. However, after allegations of fraud were made against Theranos, Forbes revised her net worth to zero and named her one of the "World's Most Disappointing Leaders". As of March 2023, it appears Holmes has a net worth of $0 to her name. Once the richest young entrepreneur, she nowadays is living on bail in her $135 million massive estate, which is situated in Silicon Valley. She has numerous cars in her collection, which she bought a long ago. Holmes owns a very beautiful Mercedes Benz, Mercedes Maybach, Porsche, and several more. 

Despite her fall from grace, Elizabeth Holmes remains a controversial figure. Many people continue to be fascinated by her story and her meteoric rise and fall. Her case has sparked debates about ethics in business, the responsibilities of CEOs, and the role of media in shaping public perceptions of individuals and companies. Her trial has been closely followed by the media and the public, and its outcome is likely to have far-reaching implications for the tech industry and the business world as a whole. 

Holmes owned half of Theranos's stock before March 2018. Forbes listed her as one of America's Richest Self-Made Women in 2015, with a net worth of $4.5 billion. However, in June 2016, Forbes updated its valuation of Theranos to $800 million, making Holmes's stake essentially worthless because other investors owned preferred shares. Despite owing a $25 million debt to Theranos for exercising stock options, Holmes did not receive any company cash or sell any of her shares associated with the debt.

How tall is Elizabeth Holmes?

Elizabeth Holmes is a woman of average height, standing at 1.69 meters (5 feet 7 inches) tall. She has a slim build with a body weight of around 65 kg (143 pounds). Her slender physique is attributed to her healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Holmes is known for her striking blue eyes and blonde hair. Her blue eyes have often been a topic of discussion in the media, with some describing them as piercing and intense. Her hair color is natural and she is often seen wearing it in a sleek and professional style. She has got a healthy body with attractive personality. Overall, Elizabeth Holmes has a classic and polished appearance that reflects her position as a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman. 

5 Facts About Elizabeth Holmes

1. Elizabeth Holmes operated Theranos in "stealth mode" 

Elizabeth Holmes employed a "stealth mode" approach in running Theranos, opting not to issue press releases or establish a company website until September 2013, when the company unveiled a collaboration with Walgreens to introduce in-store blood sample collection centers. For almost a decade, from 2004 until its highly-publicized launch in 2013, Holmes kept Theranos shrouded in secrecy, with no official website or press releases. In 2013, Theranos finally emerged from the shadows, partnering with Walgreens to promote its technology.

2. Holmes has a very strict schedule

Elizabeth Holmes was known for her strong work ethic and dedication to her company, Theranos. She was often described as a workhorse, working long hours and dedicating herself to her work. In fact, it was reported that Holmes only slept four hours a day and worked seven days a week. This level of commitment and focus helped her to build Theranos into a company that was valued at billions of dollars, but it also contributed to the downfall of the company as allegations of fraud and deception came to light. 

3. She hates needles

Holmes' aversion to needles was a driving force behind the creation of Theranos. It is noteworthy that her mother and grandmother were also reported to have fainted at the sight of needles, indicating that fear ran in her family. In an interview with CNN Money in 2014, Holmes stated, "I genuinely believe that if we were from another planet and we came down to put our heads together on what would be a torture experiment, sticking a needle in someone and drawing their blood out would probably be a pretty good one." 

4. She had a side business in high school

During high school, Elizabeth Holmes already displayed entrepreneurial skills by completing three college courses in Mandarin and opening her own business selling C-compilers to Chinese universities. C-compilers are computer software programs that are used to translate code from one computer programming language to another. This allowed for software to be used on multiple platforms. Holmes's proficiency in Mandarin allowed her to negotiate with Chinese universities and successfully sell her product to them.  

5. Elizabeth Holmes Idolized Steve Jobs

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos, admired Steve Jobs and emulated his style by dressing in a black turtleneck, black blazer, and black trousers. She was known for recruiting employees from Apple during the height of Theranos's success.