Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Theranos, CEO Elizabeth Holmes and company President Ramesh Balwani accusing them of massive fraud. Holmes has settled the lawsuit and has been stripped of her position as the CEO. As part of the settlement, she will pay $500,000 in penalties and won’t be allowed to serve as an officer or director of a private company. It is quite a comedown for an entrepreneur who often graced the covers of business magazines and was a constant presence at the posh conferences. She also convinced investors to invest $700 million in the company at vertigo-inducing valuations. And even though SEC’s actions are a mere slap on the wrist with no admission of guilt on part of Holmes, the nuanced message of SEC actions is clear enough for rest of the unicorn club.
Weighing in! My thoughts on AOL + Yahoo + Verizon. If you have read my previous pieces, you will see I am consistent.
Like Verizon’s similar purchase, last year, of another ancient bauble, the once ubiquitous dial-up service AOL, the acquisition of Yahoo speaks mainly to the past. Tomorrow’s Internet users don’t dream of using Yahoo’s properties any more than they do AOL’s. Instead, they lavish their attention on Instagram and Snapchat, Musical.ly and Spotify. And software continues to move in directions far removed from the early Web, as new voice-based interfaces, on devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home, train us to think about the Internet beyond browsers and smartphones.
Hedge-fund investor slash trying-to-be-an-activist shareholder slash media darling Eric Jackson of SpringOwl told the Wall Street Journal today that it is time for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to go. He outlined a strategy to save the company, which basically says to cut 9,000 jobs and make a few other changes. “For all the bluster, the solution outlined in … Continue reading Again, CEO Isn’t Yahoo’s Real Problem