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Theranos Lays Off Almost All of Its Remaining Workers (marketwatch.com) 91

A few months ago, Theranos laid off almost half of its workforce as it struggled to recover from the backlash generated when the company failed to provide accurate results to patients using its proprietary blood test technology. Now, according to people familiar with the matter, the company is laying off most of its remaining workforce in a last-ditch effort to preserve cash and avert or at least delay bankruptcy for a few more months. MarketWatch reports: Tuesday's layoffs take the company's head count from about 125 employees to two dozen or fewer, according to people familiar with the matter. As recently as late 2015, Theranos had about 800 employees. Elizabeth Holmes, the Silicon Valley firm's founder and chief executive officer, announced the layoffs at an all-employee meeting at Theranos's offices in Newark, Calif. on Tuesday, less than a month after settling civil fraud charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Under the SEC settlement, Holmes was forced to relinquish her voting control over the company she founded 15 years ago as a 19-year-old Stanford dropout, give back a big chunk of her stock, and pay a $500,000 penalty. She also agreed to be barred from being an officer or director in a public company for 10 years.

Theranos Lays Off Almost All of Its Remaining Workers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @06:24PM (#56414961)

    She lied about everything and committed numerous levels of fraud. She needs to be put on trial immediately.

    • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @06:40PM (#56415033)

      Mod parent +1 Interesting.

      Why isn't she going to jail ?

      Does anyone have a link / copy to the SEC settlement ?

      • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @06:54PM (#56415105)

        Why isn't she going to jail ?

        US law has been written by corporations for decades and virtually nobody ever goes to jail for corporate fraud. The US government handed out billions to banks and bought up all the toxic assets they'd created through the most massive fraud in the history of the nation and only senior figure went to jail (and then only for 2.5 years). And now we're rolling back the minimal regulations that were put in place to prevent that type of fraud so it can happen again.

        Why would you think that it would be any different for the CEO of Theranos? I'm surprised we didn't pay off her debts and buy her a house in the Bahamas.

        • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @07:48PM (#56415319) Journal
          Bernie Ebbers. Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Martha Stewart. Martin Shkreli. Jeff Skilling. Allen Stanford. Sam Waksal. All CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations who went to jail for corporate fraud. It's not at all uncommon - and it makes news when it happens because it is fairly uncommon for fraud at the level of Holmes. She got special treatment because she was a young woman in tech - and that is not socially acceptable to penalize her for "breaking into the boys club" even if she did commit fraud at a Worldcom/Enron/Tyco level of fraud.
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            More likely because there were a bunch of insiders in their with her, who got it, made a fortune and got out, with full knowledge. So ping her and likely that ping will flush out a bunch of others, protected insiders.

          • She got special treatment because she was a young woman in tech

            I highly doubt that. I think it is much more likely due to two other issues: 1. her using the executive branch of the US government as a candidate pool for her board of directors. Going after those other tycoons did not require having to depose ex Secretary of State George Schultz or going after the current Defense Secretary for trying to get the DOD to contract with Theranos. Shkreli didn't have any important friends/conspirators, so taking him down was painless. 2. The SEC is even more tame now than it us

          • by thomn8r ( 635504 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @10:43AM (#56417843)
            Which goes to show that you only go to jail if you defraud other plutocrats; financially sodomizing the public is a lower offense than a parking ticket.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Because it's a "woman in science/technology", and if they throw her ass in jail, it will send the wrong signal to young, independent, progressive women. It would demoralize them and say "you stupid cunt. You fucking piece of shit bitch. This is why men look down on you, bitch. You can't hack it and you're not as tough or awesome as a man.

        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @07:20AM (#56417093)

          So the message is "if you're a woman, rejoice, your options to get to C-Levels got better. No longer do you have to rely on your looks and your ability to give a good blowjob to get ahead, you can lie, steal, cheat your way to the top of the ladder now, too!"

          Yeah, that's the message I'd want my kids to get.

    • She lied about everything and committed numerous levels of fraud. She needs to be put on trial immediately.

      The cunt belongs in jail.

    • Either put on trial, or run for president.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Can't it be both? I think the Donald needs to push a law that a president can rule from prison. He may need it to stay in office, after all...

  • blah, blah, blah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @06:37PM (#56415015) Journal

    She will: relinquish voting control, give back a big chunk of her stock, pay a $500k penalty, and agree to be barred from holding an officer or director position with a public company for 10 years.

    A relatively small private contractor would go to jail next Wednesday for a hot check to float the Easter Party.

    • The law isn't really relevant if you're rich enough.

      • she's a member of the ruling class.
      • I don't understand that, since we allegedly live in a democracy in which the vast majority of folks are on the poorish side of the economic scale.

        It seems like eating nutritious food whenever you want, and living in better homes built in safer neighborhoods, and driving your kids to better schools in better automobiles would be enough incentive for those inclined toward greater wealth.

        Why do they need the additional Get out of jail free card?

        • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @07:26PM (#56415239)

          Because people are easily led sheep, and have been convinced that these are their betters, and that they should look up to them?
          It also helps that they own all the media, most of the government (if not all, no one who is not owned will get far), and almost most importantly, the entertainment industry.

          This is, I am afraid, the cost of popularist democracy.
          This is also probably why original democracy was NOT popularist democracy, and had a number of features, now long gone, designed to stop this very development.

          We are all busy racing to totalitarianism, with the only real competition being who wants to get there first. Right now the left is showing a more rabid love for it, however the right are playing many of the same games.

          • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @08:09PM (#56415423) Journal

            Because people are easily led sheep, and have been convinced that these are their betters, and that they should look up to them? It also helps that they own all the media, most of the government (if not all, no one who is not owned will get far), and almost most importantly, the entertainment industry.

            This is, I am afraid, the cost of popularist democracy. This is also probably why original democracy was NOT popularist democracy, and had a number of features, now long gone, designed to stop this very development.

            We are all busy racing to totalitarianism, with the only real competition being who wants to get there first. Right now the left is showing a more rabid love for it, however the right are playing many of the same games.

            I have begun equating the left and the right with punches that equally contribute to my beat down.

          • and have been convinced that these are their betters, and that they should look up to them?

            Or that they, too, can be a member of this class if they just work hard enough.
            The lie of social mobility is a large part of what keeps the poor and working classes from demanding more of the upper class/es. Everyone is a temporarily embarrassed millionaire (to misquote/paraphrase Steinbeck).

            As you say, they media is complicit as is the entertainment industry. Bread and circuses.

            This is also probably why original democracy was NOT popularist democracy, and had a number of features, now long gone, designed to stop this very development.

            From what I understand (not from the US), the majority of states only allowed white, male, landowners to vote when the republic wa

          • by houghi ( 78078 )

            Right and left are the wings of the same bird. What needs to be done is a complete political overhaul so a multi party system will replace it.
            The way to prevent a multi party system to go to a bi-party system is already known, Look it up.
            The reason a multi party system is better is because you need to negotiate and nothing is black-white. That way the most people (No, not all) will get the benefits.
            How to do a political system is also known. This can happen peacefully. History has shown that that is not the

      • Well, she's *not* rich, since (almost) all she had was Theranos stocks. Or is she?
      • She wasn't as wealthy as lots of other CEOs who went to jail for fraud [chron.com]. Of course, most of them were middle-aged white guys in fields dominated by middle-aged white guys. They weren't a young, brash woman heralded for "breaking the glass ceiling" in the tech industry.
    • That's why it's so important to pick the right directors for your board.
      • So why haven't the board members been accused of fraud and wound up in court for defrauding investors.

        It is not just the CEO/Chairman at fault.

        • They board has a lot of political heavyweight on it. If more than one person is responsible, nobody is at fault.
        • Board members usually have a PowerPoint's idea of how the business is run. And the PowerPoint is written by the CEO.

          So, GIGO, and probably not a case for fraud.

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2018 @07:00PM (#56415133)

      I think this is one of those instances where gender politics has really favoured her, and she did more than just fool her investors. Not only has an ignorant media, oblivious to the technicalities, promoted her and gave publicity because she was a 'woman in tech', they're certainly not covering the mess now, when they clearly got it so wrong.

      I think the media that covered her should apologise. In certain sectors, their fervour of covering all things related to culture wars, such as gender and minorities, they promoted and gave publicity to a charlatan.

      • they're certainly not covering the mess now, when they clearly got it so wrong.

        Is this the media that isn't covering it?:

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/t... [wsj.com]
        https://nypost.com/2018/04/10/... [nypost.com]
        http://fortune.com/2018/04/10/... [fortune.com]
        https://www.foxbusiness.com/ma... [foxbusiness.com]

        I skipped the tech sites which are all covering it too and just quoted sites that actually are more general purpose.

        • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
          Yea, I should have said that the media aren't covering or admitting to their errors. They're not really doing it justice in comparison to the glowing praise of the female Steve Jobs that they published years ago.
          • Yea, I should have said that the media aren't covering or admitting to their errors. They're not really doing it justice in comparison to the glowing praise of the female Steve Jobs that they published years ago.

            There's an easy answer to that: no one cares. The media deals with the idiot classes or sub groups. The former don't care about the technicalities at all, the latter are only interested in what their sub group is about (e.g. finance media will only detail the finances of the company, who cares about fraud).

            This isn't some wild conspiracy, it's just purely what sells papers.

            • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
              I don't disagree with you, but I think that in general terms, the media is really bad at issuing corrections. Unlike the scientific and technical community where issuing revisions or corrections is just a normal procedure (in many or most situations), the news industry tend to do whatever it can to not correct the record, unless they absolutely have to. Ultimately, though, this only happens because yes, no one cares.
              • the media is really bad at issuing corrections.

                Consider why that is in the context of what I said. No one cares that the paper made a mistake. It is quite consistent. The media is bad at issuing corrections because the newspaper relies on either facts for subgroups or outrage for the general masses.

                the news industry tend to do whatever it can to not correct the record

                No they don't. The news papers happily issue corrections when asked to and don't tend to fight it much. But not issuing corrections because it doesn't sell papers is not the same as doing whatever they can not to, and most cases that end up in the legal syste

              • Mainstream journalism is reasonably good about reporting errors about facts. However, "Elizabeth Holmes Is Astounding New Tech Woman" is an opinion, not a fact. Opinions change. There are sections in scientific papers for things that are neither data nor logical conclusions of data, such as "Further Research". If the "Further Research" section turns out to be dumb, do journals issue corrections?

    • it's not like she was doing all the R&D and testing. People had to know what was going on

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      The SEC cannot hand out criminal penalties. They pretty much gave her the maximum possible.

  • Which to Elizabeth Holmes means they're still going to release a perfected version of their ground-breaking blood testing product. The woman will be repeating this to herself 2,000 times a day in her jail cell.

  • to perform the chemistries?
  • What do they need the remaining ones for? Would you buy a blood test from these people?
  • I mean, if they have ANY sort of technology, they need to just sell it and be done, as no one will EVER trust these dipsticks to make a product. So why the waiting game - we all know where this ends. Are they just going through the motions while they court perspective buyers for the tech? Or is the tech so much a fantasy that they are going through the motions, hoping to run out of money and not have to show their empty papers to anyone?

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      They do not have a product. What probably happens here is that Holmes had an idea she though was really great (being an inexperienced student does that to you) and decided to not run it by anybody with an actual clue and instead tried to get rich. Then the media discovered this wondergirl and pushed her as high as they could. At that time, something that would otherwise have faded away quietly and would probably have left her with debt and no finished education, turned into a huge train-wreck because she ac

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