Who Is Tyler Shultz? New Details About The Whistleblower From The Elizabeth Holmes Theranos Documentary

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Who Is Tyler Shultz? New Details About The Whistleblower From The Elizabeth Holmes Theranos Documentary

Elizabeth Holmes — the controversial founder and CEO of blood-testing startup Theranos — is being charged for allegedly making misleading claims about being able to test "a single drop of blood" for multiple diseases. The idea that was once going to revolutionize the medical industry is now going to land the 35-year-old disgraced CEO in jail. 

Holmes and her alleged scam are the center of the new HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Her story and her crimes have been turned into a book, a podcast and soon a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence.

While Holmes and her ex-boyfriend/former Theranos president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani are facing two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud, people are wanting to know more about just how they were found out. 

Enter Tyler Shultz. 

So who is Tyler Shultz? Here's everything you need to know about the whistleblower revealed in the Theranos documentary.

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1. He's the grandson of a Theranos Board of Supervisors' member. 

Tyler Shultz fits into the whole Theranos puzzle because he is the grandson of George Shultz, who was a member of the company's Board of Supervisors.

The elder George has had a "distinguished career," according to his Stanford Graduate School of Business bio. He worked both as the president of a major engineering and constructing company and he once held four different cabinet posts in the federal government during Reagan's administration.

2. Tyler Shultz followed in his grandfather's footsteps.

In 2014, Tyler Shultz joined his father and started working for Theranos. While initially he found himself charmed by Holmes and her company's mission to save the world, eight months into his job, he realized the machine that was promised to the impossible (called the Edison) didn't work. 

According to the documentary, Shultz realized that not only was the Edison not functioning as it should but that the lab was giving out false and incorrect results.

3. He tried to reason with his grandfather. 

Before blowing the whistle on the whole operation, Tyler Shultz said he tried to reason with both Holmes and his grandfather — but neither of them would listen.

“She basically pretended like this thing existed when it did not,” Shultz told Refinery29. “She would pretend like they had revenues when they did not.”

“A CEO's job is to sell the vision of the company, but I think it's important for CEOs to actually make clear the difference between what is vision and what [it is] they are currently doing. And for Elizabeth, that line got very blurred.”

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4. He quit.

The same day he sent Holmes documentation about his concerns with the Edison machine, he quit. He said the former CEO started to call him repeatedly and even threatened him with legal action. She even turned his grandfather against him.

That's when Shultz became a source for a Wall Street Journal story that would eventually bring Holmes and the entire company down.

“You can’t do ‘move fast, break things’ when you’re breaking people,” Schultz said to Refinery29, explaining why he wanted to come forward.

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5. He's proud of what he did.

Since coming forward with what he knew about Theranos, Holmes and the Edison, Shultz says he has "very few regrets."

“Luckily, I look back and have very few regrets. I'm pretty proud of myself for everything that I did. So things worked out really well,” he said. “I don't think about it that much.”

Since coming forward, Shultz has founded a medical testing research company called Flux Biosciences, which is dedicated to the work he did while he was studying as a student at Stanford. Akin to what Theranos was attempting to do, his company tests small amounts of blood, urine or saliva. 

And he was a finalist for the 2017 Forbes' $500,000 Global Change the World Competition. He even made their "30 Under 30" healthcare list that same year.

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things news, pop culture and true crime.