Theranos: A Question from a Subscriber

Question from a Solari Report Subscriber:

Re: Theranos

Theranos has drawn big scrutiny. I suspect there is more to this story given the board populated by many Bohemian Grove types and headed by a bright, attractive, and media-hyped woman.

On the next Solari Report could I kindly ask you to share your thoughts?

Response from Catherine:

Will do! Stay tuned for this week’s Ask Catherine on the Solari Report.

For background, here is a brief chronology of the company and links to recent articles



Theranos is founded by Stanford University student Elizabeth Holmes with the goal of streamlining and standardizing blood tests by creating a hand-held device.


Theranos hires Dr. Ian Gibbons, a British biochemist.

According to WSJ Gibbons working with other Theranos scientists produced 23 patents. Founder Elizabeth Holmes is listed as a co-inventor on 19.


In 2010, Theranos raised an additional $45 million from a single unnamed investor, bringing its total funding to more than $70 million. Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, ATA Ventures, Tako Ventures, Continental Properties Inc., and Larry Ellison, former CEO of Oracle.

May 23, 2013

Dr. Gibbons commits suicide. According to the WSJ, his wife said that he “told me nothing was working.”

July 2013

In July 2013, the composition of the Theranos board of directors changes markedly, with departure of Channing Robertson (emeritus professor, chemical engineering, Stanford University), experienced pharma and biotech executive Robert B. Shapiro (former chairman/CEO of the Pharmacia, Monsanto, and G.D. Searle group of companies), and financier Pete Thomas (principal, ATA Ventures). Remaining from the original board were Theranos President and COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani and former Secretary of State George Shultz; added to the new board were Riley P. Bechtel (chairman of the board at Bechtel Group), Richard Kovacevich (former Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO), Sam Nunn and Bill Frist (former U.S. Senators), Henry Kissinger (former Secretary of State), William Perry (former Secretary of Defense), William Foege (epidemiologist, former director U.S. CDC), James Mattis (General, USMC, retired) and Gary Roughead(Admiral, USN, retired), several of whom are members of Stanford’s Hoover Institution, with medical doctors Frist and Foege, and lawyer/executive Bechtel being added most lately (in 2014).


Forbes lists Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes as worth $4.5 billion based on a company valuation of $9 billion. #121 Elizabeth Holmes

October 2015

WSJ publishes Hot Startup Theranos Has Struggled With Its Blood-Test Technology and Hot Startup Theranos Dials Back Lab Tests at FDA’s Behest

Related Reading:

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Goes on Stage at WSJDLive 2015 — Live Blog

I visited a Theranos ‘wellness center’ over the weekend to get my blood drawn, and it blew away my expectations

Fixing the Laws That Let Theranos Hide Data Won’t Be Easy

The Theranos Controversy, Explained

A comprehensive guide to Theranos’s troubles and what it means for you

Solari Toon: Henry Kissinger and George Schultz at the Bohemian Grove