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Steve Burd, who led Safeway for over 20 years, testified on Tuesday that the grocery store chain prepared over 900 stores to accommodate Theranos blood-testing machines.Burd called jurors that regardless of repeated delays in the rollout, Holmes never told that there was a technology problem v the blood-testing device.Burd identified that his company did "at the very least 100" hrs of early diligence ~ above Theranos prior to signing the deal.

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Elizabeth Holmes, founder the Theranos Inc., left, come at commonwealth court in san Jose, California, top top Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021.

SAN JOSE, CALIF. — former Safeway CEO Steve Burd stated on Tuesday that his company knew that was taking a danger by partnering with blood-testing start-up Theranos, and he acknowledged that a transaction would have been an excellent for the grocery chain's stock price.

On his 2nd day testifying in the criminal fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, Burd called jurors the Safeway ran a thorough elevation investigation into the company's claims around its technology before signing an commitment in 2010.


The deal, valued at almost $400 million, led to 969 Safeway stores gift remodeled in preparation for the blood-testing machines. Safeway dissolved its partnership through Theranos in 2015, two years after ~ Burd retired.

While Burd was called as a witness by the prosecution, defense lawyer Kevin Downey, who's representing Holmes, took the ex-CEO to job for what that knew around Theranos once he win the deal.

"You knew at the time she to be a very young entrepreneur?" Downey said, referring to Holmes, that was then in she 20s. "Correct," Burd replied.

Downey continued, "Is it fair to to speak in the process of act a deal, Safeway walk hundreds of hrs of early diligence?"

"At the very least 100," Burd said, adding that he held himself "personally responsible" because that executing the agreement.


Holmes rocketed to fame in Silicon valley by developing modern technology that promised come run numerous diagnostic exam with simply a finger prick the blood. But Theranos never ever realized those aspirations, and also Holmes is now charged through 12 counts of cable fraud and conspiracy in link with misleading investors and also patients. She has actually pleaded no guilty.

During opening statements, defense attorney Lance Wade called jurors that regardless of making some mistakes, top a failed start-up doesn't make her a criminal. Holmes faces up to twenty years in prison if convicted.

With Burd on the stand, the defense do the efforts to display that Safeway, a substantial national chain, wasn't duped in that negotiations.

"You would have interacted with Theranos virtually daily for much more than one year," Downey said to Burd. The witness responded, "We were on a parallel path to do the deal and also to carry out due diligence."

Theranos had actually never deployed its devices into a physical store. It later announced a partnership through Walgreens, which likewise flopped.


"So you construed that Safeway or Walgreens or one of the various other companies lock were talking to, this would certainly be their very first consumer based deployment the technology, correct?" Downey asked. "You construed as a an outcome they had never scaled this modern technology on a wide basis, correct?"

"I knew they didn't have a lot of customers," Burd said.

Downey likewise pointed come Safeway's very own challenges. The company's share price had slumped from $19 in January 2012 come $14 in July of that year, together Safeway and Theranos were functioning to acquire the gadgets up and running.

"Did you communicate with Ms. Holmes by text or otherwise and tell her the you thought the stock price of Safeway would boost if you might announce a start of a Theranos product in Safeway stores?" Downey asked. Burd testified the he didn't recall speak that, however agreed that Safeway's share would have gone up if the launch had actually taken place.

Some that Burd's emails indigenous that duration in 2012 were review in court, and also revealed his cultivation frustration v Theranos.

In among his emails come Holmes, Burd created in the topic line, "Becoming Discouraged." he testified, "I'm one of the most positive human being you'll ever before meet, ns don't obtain discouraged."

Burd also told jurors that Safeway was running trial test on employees who worked on the that company campus. However, the tests to be coming ago inaccurate.

"I think at any time you begin something brand-new you're walking to have actually some rough spots, but we continued to have rough spots," Burd said. "We had samples that were lost, we had actually results the didn't make any type of sense."

Wade Miquelon, the former finance chef of Walgreens, take it the was standing late Tuesday. He testified around a collection of meetings he had with Holmes and her optimal executive, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, in 2010.

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"This was among the most amazing companies we had seen, not simply in the lab but in general," Miquelon said, including that "we were really excited around forming the partnership."

Walgreens in ~ one point had over 40 Theranos blood-testing centers within its stores. Miquelon's testimony proceeds Wednesday.