If you haven’t watched the HBO documentary or read the book Bad Blood: Secret and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou about the meteoric rise and epic fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her allegedly fraudulent billion-dollar startup, Theranos, here’s the cliff notes:
As a young Stanford University dropout wanting to change the world, Holmes believed that the she could build a gentle pinprick option as opposed to the dreaded needle to easily and painlessly draw blood from children. Her high-tech machines would analyze the samples and quickly report if the patient had any serious health issues.
She adopted a deep baritone voice to come across serious and older, and mimicked the stylings and ruthless management practices of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. She wore black turtleneck sweaters everyday, and aggressively recruited Apple alumni. Holmes raised billions of dollars from some of the smartest and wealthiest venture capitalists and investors. There was one small problem: she faked everything. The product never worked. It was a complete scam.
Heirs to Walmart founder Sam Walton, Atlanta’s ultra wealthy Cox family, the family of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and of News Corp, Carlos Slim owner of the New York Times, Robert Kraft owner of the New England Patriots (and caught up in a recent prostitution ring), venture capital icon Tim Draper, Larry Ellison CEO of Oracle, and many other prominent elites invested about $1 billion.
She charmed her way into building an all-star Board of Directors and advisors that included David Boies, the well-known litigation attorney, Richard Kovacevich, the ex-CEO of Wells Fargo, Henry Kissinger and George Shultz who are two former secretaries of state, and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis helped with recruiting new investors.
All were taken in by Holmes. With this, and the recent university scandal, you wonder how did these people get so rich when so easily beguiled by fraud?
The Irony Is Too Much To Handle
Bill McGlashan was (up until this week) a rock star investor with the large reputable private equity and alternative investments firm, TPG. In particular, McGlashan started TPG’s Rise Fund, which partnered with Bono (yes, the sunglass-wearing frontman for U2). This do-gooder fund focuses on investments that promote environmental and social good with the kindhearted goal of improving and saving the world.
Poor Bill got himself mixed up with the Varsity Blues Scandal, allegedly paying $250,000 to get his son into the University of Southern California. It has reported that he was involved with making it appear as if his son was a kicker for his high school’s football team, which he wasn’t. But, to be fair, the kid did have two feet, so he could probably could kick stuff. McGlashan now stands to lose upward of $300 million in TPG investments, as he is no longer with TPG. There is no word if McGlashan Jr. will be kicking it at USC.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters Has A Good Point About Wells Fargo’s CEO Pay Package
Maxine Waters, the head of the House Committee of Financial Services, called for kicking out Wells Fargo’s CEO Tim Sloan faster than the universities punting the precocious progeny of the pushy parents that allegedly illegally paid for their entrance.
She’s rightfully miffed that Sloan received a $2 million bonus as part of his 2018 pay package. Sloan’s compensation is about $18.4 million.
“It is outrageous and wholly inappropriate that the bank has rewarded Mr. Sloan with a $2 million bonus for 2018,” Waters said. Waters offered a commonsense summary of Sloan’s leadership, “Federal regulators and authorities capped the bank’s growth and fined the bank more than $3 billion for offenses, such as improperly charging customers auto insurance and mortgage fees.”
If you look at someone funny in the office or tell an off-colored joke, you’ll be fired. Somehow, if you’re a CEO or high-ranking executive you’re richly rewarded for poor performance. How do we get this gig?
Apple Rips Spotify In Unprecedented PR Blitz
Talks about Apple holding a monopoly on the app business through their App Store are warranted since they receive generous shares of revenue from other companies’ apps within their store. But when Spotify claimed that Apple gets an unfair advantage at every turn, Apple was not having it.
In response, Apple basically said that without Apple, Spotify wouldn’t exist. Apple products connect their users to Spotify, they have shared critical development tools with Spotify to help develop their app, Spotify users use Apple’s secure payment system, BUT…Spotify wants 100% of the profits. The fight is considered an unprecedented PR blitz by both companies.
Ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to our next President of the United States!
Beto O’Rourke has an impressive background well-suited to lead the free world. Here he is, displaying his amazing potential. Please give it up for Robert Francis O’Rourke’s punk rock band, The Sheeps! For your enjoyment going into the weekend, watch O’Rourke Ramone playing a Ramone’s cover dressed in a sheep costume.
Beto O’Rourke was once in a cover band called The Sheeps, which performed punk rock classics. Here’s a video of O’Rourke singing the Ramones with the band in a sheep costume. https://t.co/iv2bbpKq7f pic.twitter.com/6RGQnRY2l2
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) March 15, 2019