La chute d’Elizabeth Holmes, « girl boss » de la Silicon Valley

By Corine Lesnes

Posted today at 01:19, updated at 02:19

He was his ” Tiger “. She was his ” Queen “. Between 2011 and 2016, they exchanged 594 text messages containing the word love, ” love “. The prosecutor read some of them at the hearing. “You are my breeze in the desert, she said. My water. My ocean. ” He replied that she was “The tigress of God” and that two of them would be « invincibles ». Between two impassioned messages, Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani, the couple at the head of the biotechnology start-up Theranos, raised millions of dollars from investors ready to believe that Silicon Valley had miraculous powers, including that of revolutionizing the blood testing industry. From a few drops taken from a simple prick with the thumb, the laboratory made a point of giving the complete results of the blood count of the patients, and this in an almost instantaneous way. A promise that he has never been able to fulfill.

It was in 2014-2015. Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, was indeed the queen of the moment. Silicon Valley’s first female billionaire (excluding heiresses). One of the few CEOs in a macho universe. Young ! Obviously brilliant: she had dropped her studies at Stanford in the second year to devote herself to her invention. The media were enthusiastic: the world of start-ups was therefore not held only by “bros” (young engineers). A woman, finally, took rank among the bosses of “unicorns”, companies whose capitalization exceeds 1 billion dollars (890 million euros). Elizabeth let her legend be spoken and written. She had a phobia of syringes, hence the idea of ​​doing without them in the blood tests. At 9, she wanted to invent something that would help humanity. At the age of 11, she announced her plan for the future: ” Billionaire “.

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Elizabeth Holmes was the epitome of the « girl boss », women who are assaulting power in companies. Overflowing ambition, barely less confidence, limited patience. “Where there is a glass ceiling, there is an iron lady just behind”, she wrote on Twitter in August 2015, on the occasion of Women’s Equality Day, the day commemorating women’s right to vote. « Le “miniLab” [la machine à tests conçue par Theranos] is the most important thing that mankind has ever made, she proclaimed to the staff gathered for the 2011 Christmas party at a Silicon Valley winery. If you don’t agree, just go. ”

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La chute d’Elizabeth Holmes, « girl boss » de la Silicon Valley

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