NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The gripping story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos—one of the biggest corporate frauds in history—a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley, rigorously reported by the prize-winning journalist. With a new Afterword covering her trial and sentencing, bringing the story to a close.
“Chilling ... Reads like a thriller ... Carreyrou tells [the Theranos story] virtually to perfection.” —The New York Times Book Review
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the next Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with its breakthrough device, which performed the whole range of laboratory tests from a single drop of blood. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.5 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work. Erroneous results put patients in danger, leading to misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments. All the while, Holmes and her partner, Sunny Balwani, worked to silence anyone who voiced misgivings—from journalists to their own employees.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Wall Street Journal writer John Carreyrou's industrious reporting fueled the catastrophic implosion of Theranos, the biotech company founded by celebrated wunderkind Elizabeth Holmes. Her Silicon Valley startup went from a $10 billion valuation to multiple fraud investigations—and Bad Blood lays out the book-cooking, truth-massaging, and straight-up lying Holmes and her colleagues engaged in while pushing the Theranos myth. Carreyrou's harrowing portrait of a 21st-century con shines a harsh light on what happens when scruples are trampled by greed.
An apparent scientific breakthrough rests on a quicksand of deception in this riveting account of the rise and downfall of notorious biotech firm Theranos. Expanding on his award-winning investigative scoops, Pulitzer-winning Wall Street Journal reporter Carreyrou recounts how Elizabeth Holmes, a charismatic Stanford dropout, started Theranos with claims of a revolutionary blood-testing technology that needed just a few drops from a finger-prick rather than tubefulls drawn from veins with needles. Her start-up became the toast of Silicon Valley, with a $9 billion valuation and a board including former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. The reality, he reports, was less stellar: the company's flawed tests did not meet regulatory standards and gave dangerously inaccurate results, investors and journalists were snowed with fake demos, and Holmes and her second-in-command (and boyfriend), Sunny Balwani, dismissed employees' concerns and drove many out with verbal abuse and computer surveillance. The author's investigation is part of the story: as he pursues the truth, Theranos's attorneys, led by Bush v. Gore lawyer David Boies, intimidate his sources with lawsuit threats. In the end it is Holmes who is targeted with a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission for "an elaborate, years-long fraud" and forced to relinquish voting control over the company and pay a six-figure penalty. Carreyrou blends lucid descriptions of Theranos's technology and its failures with a vivid portrait of its toxic culture and its supporters' delusional boosterism. The result is a bracing cautionary tale about visionary entrepreneurship gone very wrong. (May)
Couldn’t put it down, looking forward to the movie.
Couldn’t Make this up
Well written and meticulously researched. These cases of fraud are always shocking, but none others like this. The scope, scale and brazenness of this deception boggle the mind. I only hope that criminal indictments of the darling couple soon follow.
What a story. I’m strictly a biography reader but this was a real “true crime” book. Hard to put down. I devoured it in 4 days.