How bad were Elizabeth Holmes' 1AM emails?

www.theverge.com
4 min read
fairly easy
In testimony from Surekha Gangakhedkar, Theranos' secrecy and pressure were at the fore.
Today, we had the first direct link between the problems in Theranos' labs and Elizabeth Holmes. Former manager of assay systems Surekha Gangakhedkar's job was preparing blood tests for use in patients. The system was unreliable; describing herself as "stressed and unhappy and concerned with the way the launch was going," Gangakhedkar quit.

Gangakhedkar met with Holmes to explain why she was resigning: she didn't think the Edisons were good enough for patient use. Holmes told her Theranos had "promised to deliver to the customers and didn't have much of a choice," except to go ahead with the launch, Gangakhedkar testified.

"I was worried about the launch."

Holmes, who is standing trial for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, hadn't been directly linked to lab inadequacies in the testimony from the two previous witnesses. But Holmes was hands-on when it came to the R&D lab, even emailing Gangakhedkar at 1AM to ask how the validation testing was going.

When Gangakhedkar quit, she printed out and saved email correspondence because "I was worried about the launch," she said. "I was scared that things would not go well, and I was also worried that I would be blamed." This was a direct violation of the non-disclosure agreement she'd signed.

Gangakhedkar's account corroborated that of whistleblower Erika Cheung. Earlier this week, Cheung testified that secrecy was the norm at Theranos, and that she was discouraged even from listing the company on her LinkedIn page. "There was generally guidance not to share" outside of one's immediate group, Gangakhedkar…
Elizabeth Lopatto
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