Theranos employees made a game where you shoot the investigative journalist who exposed the startup’s major problems

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of Theranos, at the 2015 Wall Street Journal Digital Live conference in California.

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Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of Theranos, at the 2015 Wall Street Journal Digital Live conference in California.
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REUTERS/Mike Blake

  • Theranos may be liquidated as soon as this summer, according to an investor email.
  • The company was once valued at $9 billion and backed by big names like the former Secretary of State George Shultz.
  • Some people inside the company blame John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal reporter who revealed that the company was misleading people about its technology.
  • So some employees made a “Space Invaders”-style game, played at a company party, in which players shoot little Carreyrou heads.

Theranos, the once high-flying startup that promised to revolutionize blood tests, is on its death bed and will cease to exist this summer without more money, according to an investor email published by BuzzFeed.

There’s a lot of blame to go around – whether it’s aimed at CEO Elizabeth Holmes, the former chief operating officer Sunny Balwani, or the investors who enabled the startup to raise $1.4 billion in venture funding.

But some within the company blame John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal ace who revealed that the company, once valued at $9 billion and backed by big names like the former Secretary of State George Shultz, was misleading people about its technology.

Not only did Theranos employees once chant “f— you, Carreyrou” at an all-hands meeting, but employees even built a “Space Invaders”-style game in which players were to shoot little pictures of Carreyrou’s head, as well as the Zika virus, he tweeted on Thursday.

On Friday, he obtained a picture of the game, “Haters’ gonna Hate v1.5.”

Carreyrou wrote that the game’s creator got in touch with him and would eventually send him the full game so he could play it.

There are probably many other wild stories about Theranos in Carreyrou’s book, “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” which is scheduled for release May 21. Excerpts published in Stat earlier this week are incredibly juicy.

But as Carreyrou tweeted, the anecdote about the game won’t be in the first edition. Maybe it can be added for the paperback.