Just a brief update on the ongoing Theranos story. Hopefully in a week or so I'll actually have the time to write something substantial on this again.
First, Walgreens is suing Theranos for $140 million. Walgreens was the company that had the deal with Theranos to use their Edison blood testing for patients in their stores, and this deal was one of the key reasons Theranos were taken seriously. This is a major blow, and along with the investor lawsuit for near $100 million, and the eight class action lawsuits they have, puts them at good odds of all the money in the bank disappearing in settlements and legal fees.
Then, Tim Draper, one of the original VCs to invest in Theranos, continues to defend Elizabeth Holmes and starts playing both the victim and sexism cards on her behalf. It's somewhat ridiculous at this stage, and I don't know if it signifies desperation, denial, or delusion.
Finally, another fantastic piece by John Carryrou on the whistleblower on Theranos - the 26 year old grandson of former Secretary of State (and Theranos Board Member) George Schultz. To summarise, he worked at the company and began to question the effectiveness, legality, and safety of what they were doing, reported his concerns up the chain within Theranos, got a beatdown from the COO, left, went to the authorities to inform them, and met with intense intimidation from the Theranos legal team.
And what was his reward for his good behaviour? $400,000 of legal bills and lost contact with his grandfather. It makes clear that any excuses that the youth of a founder/CEO excuses them from understanding the ethical and legal consequences of their actions are nonsense, and that whether the person in charge is 19, 39, or 99, they are capable of knowing right from wrong. More importantly, though, is that this article should make clear the answer the question "Why are so few people whistleblowers?"