Elizabeth Holmes

The Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes

Business leaders and all employees should practice ethics in whatever they do to avoid blunders that could affect organizational practices and performance. The paper is about former Theranos’ CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, who causes her company to collapse due to engaging in insincere dealings. Holmes’ tribulations remind other operators the significance of practicing honesty because this promotes sustainability rather than indulging in fraudulent actions that cause regrets and fallouts.

The Story

Elizabeth Holmes, the initiator and CEO of Biotech first Theranos, moved from being ranked the next great corporate leader to facing nearly two decades in prison over claims of fraud. After failing to complete her studies at Stanford University Holmes opted to establish a firm when she was barely 20 years old, with the goal of forming a less expensive, more effective option to a convectional blood test (O’Brien). Holmes’ company, Theranos promised clients the capacity to test for ailments such as diabetes and cancer with just little blood. Her claim appealed to many clients, which allowed her to generate hundreds of millions of dollars through funding as well as attracted influential retail partners and renowned politicians. However, revelations by the Wall Street Journal that inquired into the company’s processes and technology implicated the CEO and her chief partner, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, of fraud (O’Brien). The former CEO was charged with defrauding investors in 2018. Various evaluators have come out to examine the matter, including the documentary, Elizabeth Homes: The ‘Valley of Hype’ Behind the Rise and Fall of Theranos by Yahoo Finance. The documentary that draws opinion of various people and sources tell the stories that led to the fall of Theranos and the ordeals facing Holmes and her partner (Yahoo Finance). For example, Reed Kathrein who is the plaintiff’s (Theranos) plaintiff asserts that the company is committed to rectify all faults (Yahoo Finance). Other stakeholders, including Jonathan Shieber who serves as a reporter for Tech Crunch castigates such acts that he believes affect businesses.

Connection to Entrepreneurship

The Importance of Social Networks

Holmes’ story provides much information that relate to the significance of social networks, but it is first essential to understand what social network means in this context. Social networks are platforms, often websites and apps that permit interaction with other users, or to locate people with similar ideas and interests to one’s own. Today, social media avenues serve as primary avenues for social networking. Social networks are helpful because they permit people to form relationships with others with whom they may not be able to interact with without such avenues. Social networks also helps to enhance organizational productivity when utilized for advertising reasons, marketing, and public relations. Nevertheless, Holmes’ case illustrate the need to offer truthful information when transacting or communicating through social network, especially if the conversation has to do with business transactions. Otherwise, providing false information may have fatal consequences on the firm that may become answerable when clients and stakeholders seek the truth.

The Glorification of Entrepreneurship

Glorification of entrepreneurship is a phenomenon explaining how establishing and possibly managing an enterprise is glorified as being an exemplary achievement in life. The glorification of entrepreneurship has compelled many individuals to establish a business with clear and focused direction and planning. It is like these people are entering into business because they are being forced into it by others. Glorification of entrepreneurship also happens as if it has been fed into people’s mind that owning a business is the only way to achieve respect in the society. It is imperative to acknowledge that not every person is born to be an entrepreneur. However, this does not imply that if one is not destined to be an entrepreneur they are inferior to those owning an enterprise. The statement applies to Holmes who even though manages to establish an organization that was destined for success, does not have the necessary qualities to serve in the field let alone acting as a leader.

The Treatment of Women Entrepreneurs

Holme’s case is an illustration of how more women are ascending to leadership positions unlike before when only a few women could ascend to such high ranks. Women who manage to rise to high ranks receive the same measure of respect and attention male leaders get, and receive needed support to perform their duties. Providing women with the chance to lead an organization as it happens with Holmes presents a better chance to achieve impressive organizational performance. Women have the capacity to make wise and bold choices, which makes it possible to develop a less authoritative environment. However, it is necessary to have those who provide guidelines and advice to avoid blunders such as it appears with Holmes.


The three identified themes (social networks, glorification, and gender) help to understand the importance of adhering to ethical practice as a leader. The identified themes may have resulted in Holmes’ downfall. The chief lesson from the study is the need to be sincere when serving as a leader. Nonetheless, leaders who do not adhere to ethical guidelines are destines to fail.

Works Cited

Yahoo Finance. “Elizabeth Holmes: The ‘Valley of Hype’ Behind the Rise and Fall of Theranos.” YouTube, August 31, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to2GSibbrv0. Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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