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Post-mortem on Theranos—where were the controls?

Tom Fox | March 22, 2018

The post-mortems on Theranos and its founder, chairman, and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, continue. As reported in Compliance Week, the company raised more than $700 million from investors in what was termed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a “massive, years-long fraud.”

But was it a massive fraud perpetrated by a select few; a scheme concoted by a visionary who could not let go of her vision when she could not translate it into reality; a complete, total, and utter failure in corporate governance by both senior management and the board of directors; or a Greek tragedy denoting a fall from grace by an irresistible visionary who came too close to the gods? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

It is the lack of business reality that presaged the fall of Theranos. All great stories have a foundation myth. For Theranos and...

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