Liz Holmes goes to jail; Valley unchanged
As Elizabeth Holmes heads to prison, has Silicon Valley learned anything?
May 29, 2023 at 5:21 p.m. EDT
Elizabeth Holmes tried finding a workaround, but the disgraced Silicon Valley entrepreneur must finally report to prison on Tuesday. Silicon Valley, for its part, has barely paused to notice.
Federal prosecutors indicted Holmes five years ago on multiple counts of conspiracy and defrauding investors and patients through her failed Silicon Valley start-up, Theranos. Convicted early last year on four of those charges and sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison, Holmes is set to report to a minimum-security “prison camp” about 100 miles from Houston.
Holmes made multiple efforts to wiggle out of doing time, including repeated maneuvers by a legal team estimated to have cost more than $30 million. She allegedly contemplated fleeing to Mexico. And since her conviction, she and her partner, Billy Evans, conceived a second child; she gave birth in February. Holmes revealed in a fawning profile in the New York Times — which recast her as “Liz” — that she has been volunteering for a rape crisis hotline.
Holmes’s saga was always a Rorschach test for how to think about the valley, a cautionary tale that either exposed the “fake it till you make it” mentality of start-ups or served as a prime example of the deep-seated misogyny in the technology industry.