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World NewsElizabeth Holmes wrote personal notes to herself about 'becoming Steve Jobs'

Elizabeth Holmes wrote personal notes to herself about ‘becoming Steve Jobs’

Elizabeth Holmes, left, and Steve Jobs

CNBC; David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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

“Becoming steve jobs -” Holmes wrote on April 2, 2015, in accordance to paperwork obtained by CNBC. The notice was amongst greater than a dozen pages of diary-like streams of consciousness writings that Holmes typed up to herself that 12 months. CNBC obtained a portion of these notes.

The reference to Apple’s co-founder was amongst notes that seem to be 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 stated he was touring and couldn’t be reached for a remark.

A biography of Jobs titled “Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader” by Brent Schlender printed the earlier month.

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

Five months after the notice to herself, she was previously dubbed “The Next Steve Jobs” in an Inc. magazine cover story. The article started, “You’d have to look really hard not to see Steve Jobs in Elizabeth Holmes.”

Like Jobs, Holmes dropped out of school. She left Stanford at 19 to begin Theranos. The firm’s expertise promised to run a whole lot of blood checks from a finger prick. She was as soon as the youngest feminine self-made billionaire, elevating greater than $900 million from subtle buyers together with Rupert Murdoch, the Walton household and Betsy DeVos.

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

Two weeks later, Holmes wrote one other notice to herself: “Point by point refutation statements”

“Fearless transparent nothing to hide”

In a notice later that night, Holmes wrote: “Board statement – independent look at accusations by board – making statements – no independent opinion. Unwise board – enter – without judgement -“

Another line stated: “Strategic mistake – WSJ – impression – fight – number accusations – made” 

In what seems to be a response to the Journal’s investigation, Holmes wrote: “Weak accusations – endorses everything – happened – if – true – raise doubt – want – board looks into it – finds nothing to any of it – looked into it – have not looked at it independently – “

In the identical notice she added: “Haven’t addressed – doesn’t shake my confidence – my business judgement – no reason – this announcement – know a month from now – business judgement correct at the time. Never for sure.”

“Put out statement. Faith – Elizabeth, co.”

The notes reviewed by CNBC present Holmes deliberating about quite a few choices 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 to the corporate’s blood-testing expertise.

Asked about these notes, one other worker at Theranos informed CNBC, “Elizabeth saw herself as the brand and driving force of the company. She was not one who was being manipulated by Sunny or anyone. That posture even continued when Sunny left the company 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 expenses. Holmes’ trial started final month. Balwani’s trial will not start till subsequent 12 months.

Part of Holmes’ protection technique is predicted to be that one in every of her largest errors as CEO was placing her religion in Balwani, in accordance to the protection’s opening statements. Unsealed courtroom filings additionally allege Holmes might declare that sexual and psychological abuse from Balwani impaired her psychological state and decision-making at Theranos. Balwani strongly denies the allegations.

In 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 “Advice all day – EAH call – talk George off cliff…” While it is not clear what she meant, Tyler Shultz had warned his grandfather about potential fraud inside the corporate, in accordance to Carreyrou’s e book “Bad Blood.” Tyler Shultz is predicted to testify for the federal government on the trial. George Shultz died earlier this 12 months.

In one other notice 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 “Started – vision – change world. Access to healthcare. Bring down cost. Up efficiency. Min pain…”

But Holmes additionally reminded herself “Fudge it – if don’t understand – want clarified – stop – explore – reserve done – may get to it”

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

In a notice 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, “Certain platforms – so fabulous – regular people… (Cramer) – Sorkin – mad man – tough”

That wasn’t the one reference to journalists.

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

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

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

“Really smart people picked off mado Not you”

That reference was mentioned intimately on Carreyrou’s “Bad Blood: The Final Chapter” podcast on Sept. 8. Carreyrou stated it appeared the notice 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 making ready an article on Theranos in 2014 and Balwani’s textual content messages to Holmes, obtained by CNBC, indicated he was keen to take a backseat to spotlighting her success.

“Do you want New Yorker to say crucial to Theranos’ success was hiring you,” Holmes texted Balwani. “If it takes anything away from you then no. Perhaps there is a better way of saying,” 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 together decide what sounds best.”


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