Elizabeth Holmes wrote private notes to herself about ‘turning into Steve Jobs’ as Theranos collapse started


Because the media began evaluating Elizabeth Holmes to Steve Jobs, the previous Theranos CEO wrote a word to herself that contained three telling phrases.

“Turning into steve jobs -” Holmes wrote on April 2, 2015, based on paperwork obtained by CNBC. The word was amongst greater than a dozen pages of diary-like streams of consciousness writings that Holmes wrote to herself that 12 months. CNBC obtained a portion of these notes.

The reference to Apple‘s co-founder was amongst notes that seem like from a dialog with Theranos counsel David Boies. In these notes, Holmes additionally referred to a brand new lawyer employed by the corporate. A spokesperson for Boies mentioned he was touring and couldn’t be reached for a remark.

Holmes’ ubiquitous appearances within the media on the time featured her carrying a black turtleneck meant to evoke Jobs’ iconic look. She typically mentioned he was her idol. A former Theranos worker instructed CNBC they noticed a framed photograph of Jobs in her workplace.

5 months after the word to herself, she was previously dubbed “The Subsequent Steve Jobs” in an Inc. magazine cover story. The story started, “You’d must look actually exhausting to not see Steve Jobs in Elizabeth Holmes.”

Like Jobs, Holmes dropped out of faculty. She left Stanford at 19 to begin Theranos. The corporate’s expertise promised to run lots of of blood assessments from a finger prick. She was as soon as the youngest feminine self-made billionaire, elevating over $900 million from subtle traders together with Rupert Murdoch, the Walton household and Betsy DeVos.

Her ascent to media darling did not final. The glowing press abruptly dimmed the identical month Inc. featured her on its cowl. Shortly afterward, on October 15, 2015 the primary report printed in a sequence of investigative articles by former Wall Avenue Journal reporter John Carreyrou, revealing inaccuracies with the corporate’s blood-testing expertise.

Two weeks later, Holmes wrote one other word to herself: “Level by level refutation statements”

“Fearless clear nothing to cover”

In a word later that night, Holmes wrote: “Board assertion – impartial take a look at accusations by board – making statements – no impartial opinion. Unwise board – enter – with out judgement -“

One other line mentioned: “Strategic mistake – WSJ – impression – struggle – quantity accusations – made” 

In what seems to be a response to the Journal’s investigation, Holmes wrote: “Weak accusations – endorses every part – occurred – if – true – increase doubt – need – board seems into it – finds nothing to any of it – regarded into it – haven’t checked out it independently – “

In the identical word she added: “Have not addressed – does not shake my confidence – my enterprise judgement – no cause – this announcement – know a month from now – enterprise judgement appropriate on the time. By no means for certain.”

“Put out assertion. Religion – Elizabeth, co.”

The notes reviewed by CNBC present Holmes deliberating about quite a few selections relating to the corporate and the board assertion. There is just one point out of her COO and boyfriend on the time Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani: “Balwani – stopped submitting Edison – off others”

The Edison refers back to the firm’s blood-testing expertise.

Requested about these notes, one other worker at Theranos instructed CNBC, “Elizabeth noticed herself because the model and driving drive of the corporate. She was not one who was being manipulated by Sunny or anybody. That posture even continued when Sunny left the corporate in 2016.”

Attorneys for Holmes didn’t reply to CNBC’s request for remark. Holmes and Balwani are going through 20 years in jail on wire fraud and conspiracy prices. Holmes’ trial started final month. Balwani’s trial will not start till subsequent 12 months.

A part of Holmes’ protection technique is predicted to be that one in every of her greatest errors as CEO was placing her religion in Balwani, based on the protection’s opening statements. Unsealed court docket filings additionally allege Holmes might declare that sexual and psychological abuse from Balwani impaired her psychological state and choice making at Theranos. Balwani strongly denies the allegations.

Within the notes to herself, Holmes additionally referenced former Secretary of State George Shultz who was on the board of administrators. Shultz’s grandson, Tyler, labored at Theranos and have become one of many first whistleblowers.

On April 29, 2015 Holmes wrote “Recommendation all day – EAH name – speak George off cliff…” Whereas it is not clear what she meant, Tyler Shultz had warned his grandfather about attainable fraud inside the corporate based on Carreyrou’s e book “Unhealthy Blood.” Tyler Shultz is predicted to testify for the federal government on the trial.

In one other word to herself written in April 2015, Holmes jotted down her ideas for what seems to be a presentation about Theranos. She factors out that her firm had “legislative success in Arizona,” and “Began – imaginative and prescient – change world. Entry to healthcare. Carry down value. Up effectivity. Min ache…”

However Holmes additionally reminded herself “Fudge it – if do not perceive – need clarified – cease – discover – reserve performed – might get to it”

When Holmes was within the media limelight, she was frequently interviewed on quite a few tv packages.

In a word to herself on October 17, 2015 she wrote about two appearances that 12 months on CNBC wherein she was interviewed by Jim Cramer and Andrew Ross Sorkin. Holmes wrote, “Sure platforms – so fabulous – common folks… (Cramer) – Sorkin – mad man – powerful”

That wasn’t the one reference to journalists.

Holmes additionally wrote to herself about Carreyrou, Gerard Baker, editor at giant on the Wall Avenue Journal, and Dennis Berman who was on the time cash and investing editor on the Wall Avenue Journal.

In one other word Holmes wrote: “Very productive – CBS this morning producers, interview on Friday”

In one of many extra cryptic notes to herself, Holmes wrote:

“Actually good folks picked off mado Not you”

That reference was mentioned intimately on Carreyrou’s “Bad Blood: The Final Chapter” podcast on Sept. 8. Carreyrou mentioned it appeared the word was referring to convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff.

Holmes’ description of turning into Jobs in 2015 adopted textual content messages between her and Balwani the 12 months earlier than. The New Yorker was getting ready an article on Theranos in 2014 and Balwani’s textual content messages to Holmes, obtained by CNBC, point out he was keen to take a backseat to spotlighting her success.

“Would you like New Yorker to say essential to Theranos’ success was hiring you,” Holmes texted Balwani. “If it takes something away from you then no. Maybe there’s a higher manner of claiming,” Balwani replied.

In describing how Theranos needs to be portrayed within the press, Holmes texted Balwani that each of them would determine it out: “we collectively resolve what sounds finest.”