Credits: CNBC

Elizabeth Holmes’ Obsession with Steve Jobs

With her bold plan to transform healthcare, Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, enchanted the world. She became increasingly obsessed with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs when the truth about her company’s dishonest business practises came to light, though. A fresh development in John Carreyrou’s recently released book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” reveals the depth of Holmes’ obsession. This article examines Holmes’ deeper admiration for Jobs, illuminates her attempts to imitate him, and shows how her idolatry affected Theranos and led to its eventual demise.

Elizabeth Holmes Steve Jobs 4x3

Credits: Reuters

Holmes: A Visionary or Imposter?

With her business, Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes became a rising star in the tech sector, promising to transform the diagnostics industry. She attracted the attention of investors, the media, and the general public with her unique black turtleneck and deep voice reminiscent of Steve Jobs. Holmes established a reputation as a brilliant visionary who was frequently compared to Jobs. However, the reality was far different from the myth she had cultivated beneath the attractive exterior.

The Obsession Unveiled:

Holmes went to considerable efforts to imitate Jobs in her quest for greatness. She attempted to incorporate Apple’s design and marketing ideas into the Theranos brand in addition to taking his trademark black turtleneck, which she also stole. Her description of Theranos’ blood testing kits as “the iPod of healthcare,” a clear reference to Apple’s iconic device, is one noteworthy instance.

The most obvious example of Holmes’ fixation, though, was her wish to honour Jobs following his passing. According to “Bad Blood,” she directed that the Apple flag be flown at half-mast at Theranos’ Palo Alto headquarters. Work at the company ceased as a result of Holmes and her then-boyfriend Sunny’s obsession with finding an Apple flag, which consumed all of their time.

Holmes’ efforts to portray herself as a visionary similar to Jobs ultimately failed. Theranos, originally estimated at $9 billion, ultimately failed in the face of criticism, revealing the company’s flawed blood testing products. Both Holmes and Balwani were subject to legal repercussions after being found guilty on four counts of fraud each. They were had to give investors, such Rupert Murdoch and Walgreens, significant restitution.

Impact on Theranos’ Demise:

Holmes’ fixation on Jobs had a significant effect on Theranos and its staff. The real effort required to make the company successful was overshadowed by her obsessive quest of becoming the next Steve Jobs. Employees recall a change in focus, with a sizable amount of their time and resources going towards Holmes’ personal goals.

Theranos attracted significant investment and landed well-known collaborations, but its technology was ultimately revealed to be a scam. The false impression that Holmes was a visionary was dispelled by the flawed blood test kits and the subsequent inquiry into Theranos’ business practises. It became clear that her obsession with copying Jobs had kept her from creating a profitable and morally sound company.

The fallout from Theranos’ failure was extensive. Due to Elizabeth Holmes’ conviction for many counts of fraud, Sunny Balwani and she were subject to legal consequences. Rupert Murdoch and Walgreens were among the investors and partners who suffered harm, which led to significant financial losses and destroyed industry trust.


The fascination Elizabeth Holmes had with Steve Jobs was a defining quality of her time as CEO of Theranos. In the end, her attempt to imitate Jobs and channel his visionary aura led to her company’s demise. The incident with the half-mast flying of the Apple flag at Theranos’ corporate headquarters is a potent illustration of Holmes’ misplaced priorities. The narrative of Holmes as a visionary leader fell apart as the reality about Theranos’ dishonest business practises came to light, showing the risks of idolising and trying to emulate a renowned figure without the merit and integrity to back it up.