From their first kiss on New Year’s Eve at the Burning Man festival to their romance lasting the entire year, entrepreneur and best friend Elizabeth Holmes and new boyfriend Billy Evans certainly have had a 2018 to remember. But as the world digests the facts surrounding their relationship and Simpson’s investigation, many have questioned the young couple’s motivations.
At just 23, Evans, who worked as a consultant at DeepMind, and a couple of years older than Holmes, were just a couple of months away from one of the biggest industry coups of 2018. As Holmes explained to Fortune, she and her partner held long discussions about the massive investment deal with Amazon while the future of Célia always lay in the company’s lab – a sentiment echoed by several other mentors and colleagues.
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But did Evans really enjoy the company of an employee in a less professionally exposed role? Over at LinkedIn, most who have interacted with him on the professional network describe him as “forthright, thoughtful, and responsive” (including some of the people whose work he interacted with). Or perhaps he came and went as he pleased when he worked in Hangzhou, China, a story that the Daily Mail’s source claims to confirm.
If Evans didn’t interview with Célia before joining her team, it seems he was much closer to her than she had initially let on. On the basis of meeting in various places and sitting next to her, he would appear to have extended the length of his tenure with the company. Some Time recently revealed that Holmes listed him as “a fellow employee” in a regulatory filing. And it would appear he acted as some sort of “companion” – indeed, according to Fortune, he advised her on buying a New York apartment.
Forbes reported that the partnership would go ahead no matter who ended up taking over. Shortly after, in the summer of 2018, Evans was mysteriously transferred to the Google Cloud team. In July, he was brought back to work at Holmes’s company again, and was then promoted to CTO. For someone clearly in love with one of her colleagues, it was sudden and unexpected.
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Of course, to use a dating analogy, Célia and Billy are consummate game-changers. Perhaps Hughes realised how good her co-founder was not only with technology, but with life, and was only too willing to put the relationship “above the company”. The article in Fortune claims that Holmes approached her friend for marriage advice when she was breaking up with her boyfriend of two years at the time. “It’s time to commit to the guy you love,” Holmes allegedly said, according to a source who saw it. Whether Billy is as good at business as he is at the stove is of course up for debate, but we still wouldn’t want to be a partner in the duo’s new business.
Image via your buddy’s profile. Friendships are sacred. Be an honest one. Be strong. Be loyal. What are you waiting for, Billy? It’s time to put ‘The Wheel’ to use, ladies and gents. I know I am.
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