Two years ago, blood testing startup Theranos began its collapse after journalist John Carreyrou revealed some of its technology was a fraud. At the time, I argued that the unraveling of the $9 billion company wasn’t just a failure of a single technology or CEO; it was a failure of the Theranos board and a wake-up call for the private tech ecosystem that prizes directors who embolden, not challenge, powerful tech founders.
Sadly, very little has changed. This week, in an extensive report on the boards of 30 private tech companies, The Information’s Alfred Lee revealed that governance in the Valley is still pitiful. Companies like Airbnb, WeWork and Stripe eschew basic practices like disclosing their share price and appointing independent directors. And these boards aren’t representative of the people they serve. Half are still all-male. Only 10% of directors at the 30 companies are women, and 85% of them are white. You can read Alfred’s overview here and our rankings here.