Read between March 11 - March 13, 2019
Tony didn’t know any French, so he left to go look up the expression in the dictionary. The definition he found struck him as apt: “The presence of the same or similar delusional ideas in two persons closely associated with one another.”
Elizabeth was also quick to embrace the trappings of fame. The Theranos security team grew to twenty people. Two bodyguards now drove her around in a black Audi A8 sedan. Their code name for her was “Eagle One.” (Sunny was “Eagle Two.”) The Audi had no license plates—another nod to Steve Jobs, who used to lease a new Mercedes every six months to avoid having plates. Elizabeth also had a personal chef who prepared her salads and green vegetable juices made of cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, lettuce, and celery. And when she had to fly somewhere, it was in a private Gulfstream jet.
Elizabeth’s new corner office was designed to look like the Oval Office.
At Elizabeth’s insistence, the office’s big windows were made of bulletproof glass.
In Silicon Valley, it became the talk of the town. Some venture capitalists reflexively jumped to Holmes’s defense. One of them was former Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen, whose wife had just profiled Holmes in a cover story for the New York Times’s style magazine headlined “Five Visionary Tech Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World.”
After she answered a few more questions, one of the senior hardware engineers asked Balwani if he would lead them in a chant. Everyone instantly knew what chant the engineer had in mind. Three months earlier, when the company had received its herpes test approval from the FDA, Balwani had exhorted employees to yell “Fuck you” in unison during a similar meeting in the cafeteria. At the time, the shouts had been directed at Quest and LabCorp. Balwani was more than happy to indulge the engineer’s request for an encore. “We have a message for Carreyrou,” he said. At his signal, he and many of the ...more
Like her idol Steve Jobs, she emitted a reality distortion field that forced people to momentarily suspend disbelief.
There were no boos or catcalls. The decorum broke down only briefly when Holmes turned to leave the stage at the end of the Q&A. “You hurt people,” a voice yelled out from the dispersing crowd.