|Born||June 13, 1965|
|Other names||Sunny Balwani|
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
University of California, Berkeley
|Known for||Former president and COO of Theranos|
|Partner(s)||Elizabeth Holmes (2003–2016)|
Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani (born June 13, 1965) is an American businessman who is the former president and chief operating officer of Theranos, which was a privately held health technology company founded by his then-girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes. Theranos claimed to have devised a revolutionary blood test that used very small amounts of blood such as that which can be extracted from a fingerstick. Starting in 2015, Theranos came under criticism in the media due to its questionable claims and practices. The company was eventually forced into bankruptcy. Balwani was charged by federal authorities for operating the business as a multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud investors, doctors, and patients. A trial was set to begin in October 2020, but has been pushed back to January 11, 2022 (for Balwani) due to COVID-19 concerns. 
Ramesh Balwani was born in Pakistan to a Sindhi Hindu family. The family moved to India, and later immigrated to the United States. In 1986 Balwani began undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin where he was a member of the Pakistani Students Association. He received an undergraduate degree in information systems.
Balwani worked for Lotus Software and Microsoft before 1998, when he helped to create CommerceBid, a software development company that helped businesses buy and sell items over the burgeoning Internet. In 1999, the company was purchased by Commerce One, another business development software company with a high valuation. The buyout was done entirely with stock, and Balwani joined the board of the new company. In July 2000, Balwani sold his shares in Commerce One, netting nearly $40 million shortly before the company went out of business, just before the dot com bubble burst. He later went back to school and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003. He spent another four years in a computer science graduate program at Stanford University, but dropped out in 2008.
While enrolled at Berkeley, Balwani, who was 37 at the time, met Elizabeth Holmes, who was 18 and in her senior year of high school. Holmes pursued an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at Stanford, but later dropped out to focus full-time on Theranos.
Balwani joined Theranos in 2009. He ran the company's day-to-day operations as its president. He had no training in biological sciences or medical devices, which became an issue due to the absence of medical experts on the company's board of directors and Balwani's behavior. He was described by former Theranos employees as overbearing, uncompromising and so concerned about industrial espionage that he verged on paranoia.
Within Theranos, Balwani was known for using technical terms he seemingly did not understand in what others believed were attempts to appear more knowledgeable. Balwani at one point claimed: "This invention [the Edison blood testing device] is going to be way up there, um, with-- with the discovery of antibiotics." He once misheard "end effector" (the claw or other device at the end of an automated robot's arm) as "endofactor" (a nonsense word) and repeated the error throughout a meeting, furthermore not noticing when "Endofactor" was subsequently used as a prank in a PowerPoint presentation.
The Wall Street Journal reported in October 2015 that the Edison blood testing device by Theranos produced inaccurate medical diagnoses and results. Edison machines frequently failed quality-control checks and produced widely varying results, a finding that was corroborated in a report released in March 2016 by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In April 2016, Theranos told regulators it had voided all test results from Edison machines for 2014 and 2015, as well as some other tests it ran on conventional machines.
In January 2016, the CMS sent a warning letter to Theranos after inspecting its Newark, California, laboratory. CMS regulators proposed a two-year ban on Balwani from owning or operating a blood lab after the company had not fixed problems within its California lab in March 2016.
The other charges of fraud against Theranos include claiming the company's technology was being used by the U.S. Department of Defense in combat situations despite never having been used.
Another false claim included claiming a $100 million revenue stream in 2014 that was actually $100,000.
In March 2018, Balwani and Holmes were charged by the SEC with securities fraud, "raising more than $700 million from investors through an elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company's technology, business, and financial performance". Holmes settled the case out of court without admitting or denying wrongdoing, but Balwani is still in litigation as of 2019. He says he is innocent of the charges.
On June 15, 2018, following an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco that lasted more than two years, a federal grand jury indicted president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani and Elizabeth Holmes on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors allege that Holmes and Balwani engaged in two criminal schemes, one to defraud investors, the other to defraud doctors and patients. In June 2019 a U.S. District Court judge ordered Balwani and Holmes to stand trial beginning in July 2020. In March 2020, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered that Balwani will stand trial separately from Holmes. A March 17, 2021 order set Holmes's trial to begin September 7, 2021. Balwani's trial will begin after the conclusion of Holmes's. Balwani's attorneys were expected to argue that he never made any money for his work at Theranos.
He was married to Japanese artist Keiko Fujimoto. Fujimoto and Balwani lived in San Francisco before their divorce in December 2002.
Balwani was in a romantic relationship with Elizabeth Holmes during his tenure at Theranos. Holmes met him in 2002 at age 18, while still in school. He was 19 years older than Holmes and married at the time. Their relationship was not disclosed to their Theranos investors.
He was born in Pakistan to a Hindu family, and eventually the family had to move to India because being a Hindu in a mostly all-Muslim country of Pakistan was very difficult. (Balwani's Personal Lawyer)
Balwani, 52; John Carreyrou (June 15, 2018). "U.S. Files Criminal Charges Against Theranos's Elizabeth Holmes, Ramesh Balwani". WSJ. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
Balwani, 53. The source in March 2018 reports him as age 52. The source in June 2018 reports him as age 53. He was born sometime between March and June 1965.