A New York Times buyer essayist complained Wednesday it was “sexist” for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to face accountability for her alleged large fraud whereas extraordinarily environment friendly male tech executives incessantly escaped punishment.

“Time and again, we see that the boys’ club that is the tech industry supports and protects its own — even when the costs are huge. And when the door cracks open ever so slightly to let a woman in, the same rules don’t apply,” tech investor Ellen Pao wrote.

“As Ms. Holmes’s trial for fraud continues in San Jose, it’s clear that two things can be true. She should be held accountable for her actions as chief executive of Theranos. And it can be sexist to hold her accountable for alleged serious wrongdoing and not hold an array of men accountable for reports of wrongdoing or bad judgment.”

Holmes took Silicon Valley by storm after dropping out of Stanford at age 19 in 2003 and founding Theranos, which attracted big-name patrons and a $9 billion valuation by 2015 over its purported, revolutionary blood-testing machines. However, investigations lastly discovered Holmes and former boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani lied to patrons and fooled lab inspectors about their know-how, which could not carry out the superior assessments they claimed it would from one drop of blood.

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Holmes and Balwani had been charged with elevating increased than $700 million from patrons by means of the fraudulent scheme, and Theranos, as shortly as a result of the darling of the biotech world, is now the defunct poster youngster for get-rich-quick Silicon Valley malfeasance. Their indictments go on to accuse them of furthermore defrauding medical docs and victims by mendacity about their machines’ efficacy after they knew it could not present proper assessments.

Pao described the alleged felony actions as Theranos being “not transparent when its blood-testing equipment failed.”

Among Pao’s examples of unhealthy actors in tech who had gone unpunished in her view had been Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg due to genocide incited on the platform in Myanmar, and WeWork’s Adam Neumann and Uber’s Travis Kalanick having “hyped their way into raising over $10 billion for their companies.”


“Questionable, unethical, even dangerous behavior has run rampant in the male-dominated world of tech start-ups,” Pao wrote. “Remember the accusations of harassment, privacy violations, price gouging, misleading advertising and any of the other dozens of scandals at Uber? How about the genocide incited on Facebook in Myanmar, or its engagement-centric approach that led to the proliferation of anti-vaccination propaganda on the platform? Neither Mr. Kalanick nor Mark Zuckerberg has faced any significant legal consequences.”

The essay, which went on to define utterly totally different examples of unhealthy conduct in tech, acquired sharp criticism, given the infamy of Holmes’ alleged scheme.

“I just spit out my coffee,” Reason’s Robby Soave wrote.

“So much sexism in our criminal justice system,” journalist Zaid Jilani joked. “The prisons are full of women. Hardly any men in there. We need to crack down on the systemic issue of extremely wealthy women being put on trial, it’s a real epidemic.”

Holmes’ splashy look on the Silicon Valley scene drew in depth media and political consideration, not solely due to her much-hyped blood-testing know-how nonetheless furthermore her youth, deep voice, and black turtlenecks worn contained in the vein of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. She was featured on pretty a few journal covers and was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship beneath former President Barack Obama.

With the assistance of company whistleblowers, the Wall Street Journal’s investigation starting in 2015 blew the lid off the obvious rip-off. Reporter John Carreyrou’s e e-book “Bad Blood” about Theranos’ collapse is being made correct right into a film, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes.

FOX Business’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.