Bad Blood
John Carreyrou
Contributed by Andrea Barraza
Chapter 4

In 2008, the company moved to a new building in Palo Alto. The entire moving process was coordinated by Matt Bissell, the head of IT. During this time, he had the chance to find out more about the obsessive behavior of Elizabeth and how she wanted all the things to be done as fast as possible. Aaron Moore, an engineer of the company, tested the prototype but it failed to function correctly. After having a few beers, Aaron tried post a joke on Craigslist involving a picture of the device together with some “descriptive text.” Once Elizabeth saw that she became infuriated and started serious investigations into Aaron’s loyalty to the company. As a result of the joke, Aaron resigned in 2008 because he sensed the entire company’s oppressive culture and its CEO’s apparent lack of professional boundaries made him uncomfortable. Later, another employee joined the team, Todd Surdey. He went over the expenses and the budget of the company and concluded that the majority of numbers were inflated and that probably the team is misled regarding the state of the new technology. Theranos needed to come up with something because if they failed to release the device, all the investors could ask for their money back through legal measures and other relevant methods of recourse. After a board meeting, they decided to remove Elizabeth from the CEO position because she was too inexperienced for the job. But again, she managed to convince them to change their mind and promised to be more transparent. As a result of this decision, the continued trend firings by Elizabeth only intensified in the upcoming weeks.


This chapter focuses on three characteristics of Elizabeth. She was the kind of person who didn't accept no as an answer. When they had to move the company to another city she pushed her team to contact 3 moving companies in order to convince them to do the entire moving in a few hours so she wouldn't have to pay the rent for the previous location. She lacked sense when she asked for this because moving a huge building in less than 24 hours was impossible. We also see that she is a cunning person because she tried to get information about everyone in the company so she can blackmail them when she had to. Nevertheless, she was smart and good at convincing people because when the other board members wanted to fire her she managed to convince them that she is the only one who can do this job.

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