Elizabeth Holmes texts claiming she was ‘best businessperson of the year’ revealed as trial continues

‘My new life as of this night and forever more: - total confidence in myself best business person of the year,’ Ms Holmes texted to her boyfriend in 2014

Bevan Hurley
In New York
Friday 24 September 2021 18:29
Elizabeth Holmes trial: Attorneys deliver opening statements
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Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes said she had “total confidence in myself best businessperson of the year” in text messages to her former boyfriend and business partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani.

Ms Holmes boasted of her celebrity backers Rupert Murdoch and fretted over the “distractions” her new luxury lifestyle was creating, according to nearly five years of private messages obtained by CNBC.

“My new life as of this night and forever more: - total confidence in myself best business person of the year – focus – details excellence – don’t give what anyone thinks – engage employees in meetings by stories and making it about them (ie prepare well),” Ms Holmes wrote in a text to Mr Balwani in November 2014, during a text conversation about the full moon that night.

Ten minutes later, she texted again: “No response?” to which Mr Balwani replied: “Awesome. U r listening and paying attention…”

Ms Holmes is on trial in San Jose, California, accused of duping investors, patients and customers into believing that her startup, Theranos, had developed a technology that could scan for an array of potential health problems with just a few drops of blood.

Existing tests generally each require a vial of blood.

In nearly 600 pages of text messages, the couple discussed courting high-profile businesspeople to invest in Theranos.

“Just finished calls. Alice Walton in for 50,” she wrote, in an apparent reference to a member of the Walmart family, who invested $150m into the failed business.

Mr Balwani replies to say: “They are not investing in our company they are investing in our destiny.”

Soon afterwards, Ms Holmes says: “Rupert over 100,” referring to media mogul Rupert Murdoch who is among the high-profile investors in Theranos. Murdoch invested $125m in the company.

“Can’t wait to learn more about conversation with Rupert,” Balwani texted in response. “Very good :)” Holmes said, adding “He would have met longer.”

Mr Murdoch and the Walton family did not respond to requests for comment from The Independent.

Ms Holmes also discussed her newfound wealth in the text messages with Mr Balwani, Theranos’s chief operating officer. He has also been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy relating to the failed business.

In a group text in 2015, Ms Holmes’ brother Christian discusses a planned weekend getaway to Las Vegas.

“Not sure if these are options but from dan : presidential suite at four seasons $3k, mandarin apex suite view of strip $3400 or presidential $15k, or encore junior suite $700 view of golf course,” he writes.

Mr Balwani warns the Vegas trip could be a “distraction”.

“Bad timing,” he texted Ms Holmes.

“But the guys bought everything non refundable. So we will do it. But then I don’t want distractions until we win.”

“Then let’s focus on it in our room, do dinner, and go back early,” Ms Holmes replied. “I don’t like distractions ever.”

She also refers to the party having dinner at a “three star Michelin French in mgm”.

On Wednesday, former US Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis, testified at Ms Holmes’ trial. The four-star general said the entrepreneur misled him into believing she was on the verge of rolling out a blood-test breakthrough that he hoped would help save lives of troops in battle.

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