Theranos Doesn't Just Need New Executive Assistants. It Needs a New Executive. Amid federal investigations and a threat to ban Holmes from the company, Theranos tenaciously continues to recruit new employees.

By Lydia Belanger

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Gilbert Carrasquillo | Getty Images
Founder & CEO of Theranos Elizabeth Holmes.

After voiding thousands of faulty diagnostic tests and saying goodbye to its company president, Theranos is looking for some new blood, including an executive assistant as well as a personal assistant to CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

With each passing week, the list of controversies and challenges Theranos faces grows longer. Since October, the biotech company has confronted scrutiny for deception regarding its technology, the accuracy of its blood tests and its failure to adhere to scientific standards. The government has threatened sanctions against its lab operations and top executives, and president Sunny Balwani has entered early retirement in an obvious "you can't fire me, I quit" move. At the same time, Theranos is adding new executives and board members to bolster its credibility, the company is sending out tens of thousands of notices regarding the invalidity of its tests.

Related: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Theranos's Fall From Grace

While the public braces for Theranos to fold as a result of its extensive list of blunders, the company is not giving up. It's likely that the new hires' roles at Theranos will entail not just helping to run the company, but keeping it from running into the ground.

The job listings, posted on Theranos's website, detail duties that any prospective right-hand to a Silicon Valley CEO would expect: maintain travel, communicate effectively, be professional, work well with others. But some aspects of the job description provide a glimpse into the company's current state of chaos: the ability to handle correspondence with "a high degree of discretion and confidentiality" and manage "constantly moving priorities" are among the responsibilities listed.

The company has dozens of open positions, yet the new assistants are most telling. While Balwani accepted defeat and resigned, Holmes isn't likely to leave the helm of her company unless the feds force her out. She founded Theranos as an undergraduate and transformed it into a business once valued at more than $9 billion. She's been steadfast despite all of the signs that Theranos may be doomed.

Related: 4 Ways Just Getting Ready to Hire an Assistant Helps Entrepreneurs

It may be difficult for Holmes to accept, but the reputation of her company is directly linked to her leadership. If Holmes would let go, Theranos might have a chance to reinvent its image and rise from the ashes. Instead, she has chosen to stay on and build an army of damage controllers around her, regardless of what her departure could do to clean up any negative associations.

As an entrepreneur, sometimes it's difficult to know when letting go is in your company's best interests.

Lydia Belanger is a former associate editor at Entrepreneur. Follow her on Twitter: @LydiaBelanger.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Growing a Business

How to Bridge the Gap Between Aspirations and Reality in Business

Bringing a vision to life requires a good dose of self-honesty and a multi-year plan for incremental progress.


Save on These Open-Ear Headphones — $30 This Week

Liberate your ears with these wireless, non-invasive headphones discounted for a limited time.

Growing a Business

3 Strategies to Help Leaders Ignite Passion in the Workplace (and Why It's Important)

Here are three proven strategies to help you motivate your team and bring passion into the workplace.


You Need to Do These 5 Steps If You Want to Survive the Difficult Funding Market

The VC market took a beating in 2023, and the VC funding market is not going to reopen anytime soon. This article will teach you how to survive a difficult funding market like today, so you can live to fight another day.

Business News

Report: The Majority of Recent College Grads End Up in Jobs That Don't Need Bachelor's Degrees

Two research companies looked at a dataset of 60 million Americans.