Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, is earning the wages of hype.  She is paying a $500,000 fine and is barred from serving as an officer or director of a corporation for 10 years.  All this comes from overstating and lying about the efficacy of her company’s product for blood testing.  She raised $700 million from investors through telling tall tales.  She deserves what she is getting and is lucky that so far, she won’t be suffering jail time.  This should be a warning to publicists and PR practitioners who are tempted to bend facts to make a case.  Don’t do it.  The consequences when they come are severe and one will carry a stain on reputation for the rest of a career.  I suspect Holmes did not set out to lie.  She felt pressure to perform and began to exaggerate.  The exaggeration grew until it no longer had a factual base.  She then had to lie more to show progress when her analyzers fail to perform adequately.  She felt she couldn’t tell the facts because her company might collapse.  Instead, she fed the hype until the truth came out and the game was over.  Now she must bear the burden.

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