7 Ways Elizabeth Holmes Displayed Her Obsession With Steve Jobs

The story of Elizabeth Holmes is fascinating and puzzling. The Theranos founder was once considered to be the youngest self-made billionaire at the height of her career, with her company valued at $9 billion. Now, she faces up to 20 years in prison for fraudulent business practices while she led her company to its billion-dollar valuation.

Considering her messy downfall, you might be surprised to learn that, during her Theranos days, Holmes was seen by the media and her many investors as the woman Steve Jobs because of her visionary and revolutionary ideas in healthcare and technology. But this wasn't just a connection the media made on a whim. Holmes herself was obsessed with the Apple founder and actually tried to emulate several of his characteristics and practices in her own life.

Just when you thought Holmes couldn't get any more, let's say, interesting, another surprising quirk is unveiled. Here are all the ways the Theranos leader was obsessed with Jobs, and some will definitely shock you.

01
Elizabeth Holmes Wore All Black Like Steve Jobs Did
Getty | CNBC

Elizabeth Holmes Wore All Black Like Steve Jobs Did

Perhaps the most notable and obvious characteristic Holmes adopted from Jobs was his attire. The Apple founder was notorious for his simple clothing, which usually consisted of a black turtleneck he wore to company presentations. As Theranos grew, Theranos employee (and former Apple employee) Ana Arriola recommended Holmes change up her look. In John Carreyrou's tell-all book, "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup," he wrote, "People in her entourage like Channing Robertson and Don Lucas were beginning to compare her to Steve Jobs. If so, she should dress the part, [Arriola] told her. Elizabeth took the suggestion to heart. From that point on, she came to work in a black turtleneck and black slacks most days."

02
Elizabeth Holmes Hired Personal Security Like Steve Jobs Did
Getty | Gilbert Carrasquillo

Elizabeth Holmes Hired Personal Security Like Steve Jobs Did

Along with her clothes, Holmes also hired personal security like Jobs did as Theranos grew into a billion-dollar company. Jobs used to lease a new Mercedes car every six months to avoid licence plates, and Holmes took after him, hiring security to drive her in a black Audi with no plates, according to The Daily Mail.

03
Elizabeth Holmes Managed Her Company Like Steve Jobs Did
Getty | Steve Jennings

Elizabeth Holmes Managed Her Company Like Steve Jobs Did

Following Jobs's death in 2011, Holmes started to incorporate his business and management practices into her company. She incorporated different techniques from Walter Isaacson's biography on Jobs, and everyone could pick up on it. "In Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup," author Carreyrou wrote that employees at Theranos "were all reading the book too and could pinpoint which chapter she was on based on which period of Jobs' career she was impersonating."

04
Elizabeth Holmes Worked With Steve Jobs's Advertising Agency
Getty | Gilbert Carrasquillo

Elizabeth Holmes Worked With Steve Jobs's Advertising Agency

As a means to further model her business after Apple and Jobs, Holmes hired Apple's advertising agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles. According to AdWeek, Stan Fiorito, a former manageing director at the company, said Holmes "spoke of a desire to follow the famously 'intimate' relationship between TBWA and Apple." Holmes would go on to mimic Apple's signature advertising style in Theranos ads.

05
Elizabeth Holmes Hired Steve Jobs's Former Employees
Getty | Michael Kovac

Elizabeth Holmes Hired Steve Jobs's Former Employees

As if changing her style to that of Jobs and hiring Apple's advertising agency wasn't enough to emulate him, Holmes hired former Apple employees at Theranos to help create a similar aesthetic to the tech giant. In podcast "The Dropout," Arriola spoke on this, saying, "Elizabeth was very obsessed with Apple. A lot of the folks that she hired in during my period were ex-Apple." Arriola was partially responsible for creating the iconic look of the iPhone.

06
Elizabeth Holmes Called Her Blood-Testing System "the iPod of Healthcare"
Getty | MediaNews Group / Bay Area News

Elizabeth Holmes Called Her Blood-Testing System "the iPod of Healthcare"

Holmes found ways to incorporate the influence of Jobs and Apple into just about everything at Theranos. According to Carreyrou's book, she called the Theranos blood-testing machine, the Edison, "the iPod of healthcare."

07
Elizabeth Holmes Had a Similar Diet to Steve Jobs
Getty | Taylor Hill

Elizabeth Holmes Had a Similar Diet to Steve Jobs

Another way Holmes mirrored Jobs in her everyday life was that she took a liking to juicing. According to Vanity Fair, Holmes "adhered to a strange diet of only green juices (cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and celery)." Jobs had a similar diet and frequently consumed fruit juices following his 2003 cancer diagnosis, per Business Insider. While it's not officially known if Jobs was the reason for Holmes's diet, judging by her other behavioural tendencies, it wouldn't be surprising if that was the case.