Theranos’ second lab director got $5K a month to rubber-stamp forms

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of blood-testing and life sciences company Theranos, leaves the courthouse with her husband, Billy Evans, after the first day of her fraud trial in San Jose, California, on September 8, 2021.

Enlarge / Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of blood-testing and life sciences company Theranos, leaves the courthouse with her husband, Billy Evans, after the first day of her fraud trial in San Jose, California, on September 8, 2021. (credit: Nick Otto / AFP)

In yesterday’s installment of the Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial, the jury heard some eye-opening testimony from Sunil Dhawan, the doctor Theranos hired to replace its previous lab director.

Dhawan was the longtime dermatologist of Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who will be facing the same fraud charges as Holmes in the spring. Dhawan was a board-certified doctor, so he met state and federal requirements to be a lab director.

But unlike Adam Rosendorff, the previous director who resigned over the questionable accuracy of the company’s test results, Dhawan was not board certified in laboratory science, nor did he have any prior experience running a lab of that scale or scope. Dhawan also admitted that he had to google Theranos’ tech when Balwani initially approached him—before he was recruited, he hadn’t known much about the company’s technology.

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