Monday, July 11, 2016
Here is a zombie company whose death is weeks away, if not days. The company was built on fraud and its misdeeds caught up with it. The heart of the company was a hagiographic publicity campaign focused on its magnetic CEO, Elizabeth Holmes. When the facade cracked, the ugly truth spilled out to smear not only her but vendors and employees. It is unlikely she will perfect her technologies while working outside of the company she founded. Her best choice now is to retire from the scene and from Silicon Valley and start over somewhere else, if anyone would touch her. The flame-out might not have happened if she had been more open about the troubles with her products. But, she was secretive and her lack of transparency allowed a bubble to expand until it popped. She is not the first to have done this, and she won't be the last, but she is an object lesson for PR practitioners.