Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is worth in 2019 exactly $0, the go-to publication for assessing the wealth of the world’s billionaires.
The story of the youngest billionaire in the world ended in complete failure – the 34-year-old founder of startup Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, was convicted of fraud and deception of investors. Now the woman will have to pay a fine of $ 500 thousand, and also give up leadership positions for the next ten years.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to fine the founder and CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes.
The SEC found out that Holmes, together with former Theranos president Ramesh Balvani, fraudulently received an investment of $ 700 million. This fraud continued from 2013 to 2015.
According to the commission, Holmes and Balvani announced the creation of a special device for medical tests, which requires only a few drops of blood. Moreover, it was called a “faster, cheaper and more accurate” analog of those products that already existed on the market.
The defendants lied to investors not only about the device’s functionality but about their relationship with the US Department of Defense and the Food and Drug Administration. For example, Holmes mentioned that the creation of Theranos was already successfully used by the American army in Afghanistan, which was not true.
Among other things, Holmes and Balvani overestimated the financial performance of the company in presentations for investors, promising to achieve a profit of $ 100 million in 2014, when in fact they managed to earn only $ 100 thousand.
Now the 34-year-old businesswoman, who was called the “future of Silicon Valley” and “Jobs in a skirt,” will have to pay $ 500 thousand for cheating investors, as well as give up leadership positions for the next ten years. In addition, it should return 18.9 million shares of Theranos, which received in the course of fraudulent activities.
It is reported that since Theranos has been operating since 2013, the company has successfully provided medical analysis services, but at the same time used competitors’ equipment. Unfortunately, Theranos employees did not have time to create the breakthrough technology that Holmes was intensively promoting as an accomplished fact.
“The Theranos story is an important lesson for Silicon Valley,” said Gina Choi, director of SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office. “Innovators who dream of a revolution in technology are required to tell investors what their product can do today, and not what it will ever be capable of.”
It’s hard to be Jobs
Creating a business Theranos was often called the “success story” by Elizabeth Holmes, although, of course, it is far from the biography of geniuses who collect their first inventions in the garage. The future businesswoman was born in the family of a federal official and employee of the US Congress. She was sent to study at the medical faculty at Stanford University, which he dropped out a year after the start of training.
Instead of studying, Holmes decided to spend the money her parents saved on Theranos startup capital. At the end of 2014, Elizabeth Holmes first appeared on the Forbes list of America’s 400 richest people, and her fortune was estimated at $ 4.5 billion. The new blood test method offered by Theranos made the 31-year-old woman the youngest billionaire in the world.
As an example to follow and her idol, Elizabeth Holmes called Steve Jobs, saying that she keeps his biography in her office.
According to the girl, she, like the founder of Apple, always believed that her idea would change the world. By the way, Holmes also borrowed her style from Jobs – dozens of identical black turtlenecks invariably hung in her wardrobe.
However, in June 2016, Holmes’s revenues were revised, and her worth condition was rated to zero after numerous rumors about poor-quality analyzes and investigations by US federal agencies. Holmes responded instantly to a devastating Wall Street Journal article accusing Theranos of fraud: “This is what happens when you try to change something. At first, they think you’re crazy, then they fight with you, and at the end, your technology changes the world. ”
Unfortunately, the dream of Elizabeth Holmes, unlike the dream of Steve Jobs, was never destined to come true, and the world would have to wait a little longer.
Last month Theranos, the blood-testing startup, voided two years’ worth of blood-test results from its flagship Edison machines. This is just the latest in a series of blows for the company, which began with a high-profile exposé from The Wall Street Journal last year that called the company’s underlying technology into question.
How did Forbes arrive at the $0 number in 2019?
Forbes spoke to a dozen venture capitalists, analysts and industry experts and concluded that a more realistic value for Theranos is $800 million, rather than $9 billion. That gives the company credit for its intellectual property and the $724 million that it has raised, according to VC Experts, a venture capital research firm. It also represents a generous multiple of the company’s sales, which Forbes learned about from a person familiar with Theranos’ finances.
Based on this, Forbes concluded that Holmes’ 50 percent stake in Theranos is worth nothing. This is because she owns common stock, and would get paid out after investors who own preferred shares. So even if Theranos were liquidated, she wouldn’t likely see any of that $800 million.