Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the embattled blood-testing company Theranos, has tried more than a few approaches in recent months to head off the waves of bad news that just keep coming.
She’s gone to bat for her company at an industry conference, posted a 6,000-word defense on its website, and this month assembled a group of respected medical advisors. On Monday morning, Holmes tried a new tack: an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show.
The television interview comes after last week’s news that regulators are considering banning Holmes from the blood-testing business for at least two years due to problems at the Silicon Valley company’s lab in Newark, Calif., that were not resolved to the satisfaction of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“I feel devastated that we did not catch and fix these issues faster,” a contrite but defensive Holmes told interviewer Maria Shriver, a special anchor for the network.
The CEO said the “most devastating part” of the experience was knowing that the company thought it had laboratory standards in place from the get-go.
The segment featured a brief clip of Holmes and Shriver, both clad in white lab coats, in a Theranos laboratory space. Shriver pressed Holmes on how the Newark lab problems were allowed to happen, but didn’t broach questions about whether Theranos’s technology can do what it says it can, or whether the company will follow through on its promises to publish its data.
This isn’t the first time Holmes has sat down for an interview with Shriver. The former first lady of California moderated a friendly conversation with Holmes last fall before a crowd in San Francisco. It was just over a week later that the Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou published the first in a string of searing reports raising questions about the company’s promise to transform medical testing from a few drops of blood.
You can watch Monday’s interview here.