explicitly imitating Jobs, whom she referred to as “Steve” as if they were close friends. Employees could tell which chapter of Walter Isaacson’s bestselling Jobs biography she was on by which phase of Jobs’ career she was imitating.
As 700 million dollars flowed in, and Holmes was declared Silicon Valley’s first female billionaire based on the estimated value of the company, she became progressively more paranoid and megalomaniacal. She installed bulletproof windows in her office and had a 20-person security team. She worked out of a space designed to look like the Oval Office. Employees were fired constantly over minor issues, and anyone who raised impertinent questions learned quickly that no dissent would be tolerated. Carreyrou writes that Indian workers on H1-B visas effectively became “indentured servants” because of the control the company exercised over their immigration status.
One employee emailed Holmes: “You have created a work environment where people hide things from you out of fear. You cannot run a company through fear and intimidation… it will work only for a period of time before it collapses.” Holmes did not change course. The