Bad Blood
John Carreyrou

by

Jack Shields

Chapter 6
Summary

At this point in the narrative, Carreyrou begins by describing the hiring of Chelsea Burkett, Elizabeth's best friend, at Theranos as a member of the client solutions group to help validate studies done by the company. There, Chelsea goes on to meet Ramesh Sunny Balwani, who was Elizabeth's older boyfriend and also the executive vice chairman of Theranos. She describes him as being the kind of boss no one liked, but someone that Elizabeth could not fire due to her personal dependency on his previous mentorship and her idolization of him. During the time she worked for Theranos, Chelsea traveled several times with Sunny in Europe and Mexico in order to test the prototype which was named Edison. Unsurprisingly, the device failed to send accurate results but Sunny explained that the problem was the internet connection. Soon, Chelsea started feeling like everything might be not as great as she thought it was and after Elizabeth invited an old common friend who was diagnosed with cancer to test his blood with the device in order to be able to choose a treatment, she decided it was time to leave. She could understand that the company was trying to do tests for different epidemics such as the swine flu. However, Elizabeth and Theranos’ demeanor in acting like the device was more important or more accurate than a doctor’s opinion raised several red flags for her in connection with device’s failure during the her travels.

Analysis

Thus far, Carreyrou uses the strategy of interviews with personal witnesses with intimate relationships to Elizabeth or Theranos to highlight the company’s shady aspects through the testimonies from those first-hand witnesses. In these pages, the book gives us a brief characterization of Elizabeth's boyfriend Sunny. He is a lot older than her but is known for being a respected businessman who won a fortune in the past although he was also involved in tax fraud. Because of that Elizabeth hired him as the executive vice chairman so he can offer her advice in regard to how to run the business. Even so, Sunny was not liked by the companies’ employers because he acted like he owns Theranos and liked arguing with the others. He also seemed as being very possessive since he would follow Elizabeth wherever she would go. In regard to the way he dressed, the author tells us that instead of coming to the company wearing a business attire, Sunny would often ostentatiously wear famous designer clothes, looking like he was heading to the club rather than managing a multibillion dollar enterprise. A key character flaw Carreyrou ostensibly touches on concerns the perception that even though no one really liked Sunny, Elizabeth was always on his side. Simply put, Elizabeth did not put the company’s interests first, nor was she an impartial, objective leader.

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