Theranos in addition to its founder Elizabeth Holmes planned to “change the planet” by reinventing blood testing. The company’s claims in addition to the attendant hype fetched the biotech darling of Silicon Valley a valuation of over $9 billion. however after a series of stories coming from the Wall Street Journal detailing fraudulent claims over its transformative blood-testing device, the company has been in turmoil. A Securities in addition to Exchange Commission investigation into the company concluded Wednesday when the SEC officially charged Holmes in addition to the company’s former president, Ramesh Balwani, with “massive fraud.”
Today, Theranos’ future is actually still very much uncertain. Equally unclear is actually how employees at the embattled company have dealt with the long-running claims of working inside a fraudulent organization. however thanks to the employer rating in addition to review site Glassdoor, we have a tiny, imperfect window into what the idea’s like to work at Theranos after the fall.
A caveat: Glassdoor reviews are based on based on anonymous ratings which have been submitted by alleged employees. the idea’s an imperfect system; Glassdoor reviews can be faked, however the company says the idea takes steps to regularly vet its data using proprietary filters in addition to algorithms to detect fraud.
Theranos Glassdoor reviews written since April 18, 2016 — when the idea was first reported which the company was under federal investigation — paint a bleak picture of employee morale.
“Motivation is actually close to zero due to many recent developments in addition to negative media coverage,” one October 2016 review says. “Many people just come to work to fill their hours in addition to leave without doing anything…Projects are halted suddenly without any explanation after spending so much time in addition to money.”
Another suggests management is actually, uh, listless:
“Are there any adults inside the room? There is actually zero direction or structure, the quality in addition to regulatory systems in addition to knowledge in addition to compliance thereof is actually almost nil. SCARY. There is actually no communication or transparency even within the company, silo mentality — in a company whose purpose is actually to PROVIDE INFORMATION to its clients in addition to patients (I guess employees are not included.) the idea is actually like eighth-graders running around in a sandbox to design medical devices, in addition to having petty in addition to political cliques.”
A different August 2017 review described working at Theranos as “not a happy experience,” noting which “the goal is actually exciting….not sure whether the idea can be achieved.”
Reviews coming from late 2016 in addition to early 2017 suggest employees were nervous about pending investigations in addition to anxious to leave.
“Everyone I know is actually looking a way to get out in addition to leave the company especially after the recent layoffs,” one review read. “the idea all causes a toxic environment where we can be the next ones to be laid off. We are left with no hopes for the future. We all feel deceived in addition to fooled like the investors who trusted the vision of the company.”
A review coming from August 2017 said which secrecy was still a problem. “Too many things hidden coming from employees. Company was struggling to figure out their many accusations in addition to avoiding lawsuits,” the idea read.
One constant theme among reviews is actually which Theranos’ lower in addition to mid-level employees are not to blame. A January 2017 review described the company This specific way: “Great colleagues, however not a legitimate business.”
The sentiment was echoed in another January 2017 review: “a lot of very smart in addition to driven in addition to kind people, thrown into a smelly swamp.”
Reading reviews, there’s a feeling which employees tried to make the best of a worsening situation, in many cases, lured by the company’s mission statement to “change the planet.”
“The mission drove me to Theranos, however the idea’s the people I work with day in in addition to day out which keep me motivated,” one review coming from January 2017 read, before blaming the company’s floundering on an “inability to execute project plans in addition to non-existent ownership of failures.”
“I knew when I interviewed with execs which they like literally had no idea at all what they were doing,” one review of an alleged current employee read. “however at the time I thought if I could get in just before the bubble got popped by regulators, This specific could potentially be an unparalleled opportunity.”
however the reviewer said the opportunity was undercut by management. “I saw no convincing commitment to quality (vapid, hollow town hall buzzwords aside) or tangible progress made toward establishing core systems, in addition to at the time I left I still could not get answers to the same very basic compliance questions.”
Not all recent Glassdoor reviews for Theranos were negative. Some, like This specific February 2017 review coming from someone who identifies as an R&D employee are jarringly upbeat:
“coming from day 1, an unnerving feeling I’d joined a cult (like an observer not yet brainwashed) which only escalated in sinister intensity until my last day,” one February 2017 review said.
the idea continued: “There was a stunning dearth of operational infrastructure in addition to lack of core personnel competency, with no commitment (made in my time) to implementing the absolute bare minimum industry standards missing across the board.”
At the end of the review, under the prompt “advice for management,” the reviewer wrote: “Don’t ever contact me ever again.”
Another reviewer described some Theranos employees as “victim[s] of gaslighting.” Where employees are “showered with attention,” “devalued,” then “discarded.” “They know they have drained the victim dry, which they have currently outlived their usefulness,” the review states. “in addition to currently the idea is actually time for the narcissist to move on to the next source of supply.”
Their advice to management? “You should never work for a CEO which acted like an adult as a child. currently as an adult acts like a child.”
numerous reviews caution prospective employees to do their homework. “Read WSJ, which says the idea all,” one review said.
“Start over, use some real scientists,” a review chided.
Restart, rebuild, restructure. may be too late to save anything though,” a different September 2016 review added.
A different reviewer coming from January 2017 argued which the company should shut down. “Make the idea a graceful in addition to planned shut down with respect to all who have supported you, rather than the last ones standing come to work to find the doors chained in addition to locked.”
Many reviews conclude on an hopeless note, underscoring the company’s precarious position. “I have no wish nor faith in This specific company at all,” a January 2017 review said.
Others, like This specific reviewer coming from January 2017, struck a more philosophical tone:
“Can a canoe sinking inside the middle of an ocean without a paddle or inkling of wish actually recover?”
Charlie Warzel is actually a senior writer for BuzzFeed News in addition to is actually based in completely new York. Warzel reports on in addition to writes about the intersection of tech in addition to culture.
Contact Charlie Warzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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