By A Correspondent
John Carreyrou won the £30,000 prize at a ceremony at the National Gallery, London, after Bad Blood fought off strong competition from the other five shortlisted titles in a judging session on 12 November, including New Power: How It’s Changing The 21st Century–And Why You Need To Know by Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies In A Silicon Valley Startup (Picador, Pages 320, Price Rs 699) recounts the inside story of the collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, and the disgrace of its founder Elizabeth Holmes, after the group’s supposedly revolutionary blood-testing system turned out to be dangerously flawed.
Lionel Barber, FT Editor and Chair of the Judging Panel, called Bad Blood “a brilliant piece of enterprise journalism” that “reads at times like a thriller”.
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.
In Bad Blood, John Carreyrou tells the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley. Now to be adapted into a film, with Jennifer Lawrence to star.
About the author
John Carreyrou is a member of the Wall Street Journal’s investigative reporting team. He joined the Journal in 1999 and has been based in Brussels, Paris, and New York for the paper. John has covered a number of topics during his career, ranging from Islamist terrorism when he was on assignment in Europe to the pharmaceutical industry and the US healthcare system. His reporting on corruption in the field of spine surgery led to long prison terms for a California hospital owner and a Michigan neurosurgeon. His reporting on Theranos was recognized with a George Polk Award. Born in New York and raised in Paris, he currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.