‘The Dropout,’ created by Elizabeth Meriwether, is a drama series about the life of Elizabeth Holmes. After dropping out of Stanford, Holmes starts her own company, Theranos, intending to revolutionize the blood-testing industry. However, Holmes finds herself swarmed with challenges and becomes the focal point of a large scandal. The series is based on the ABC Audio podcast of the same name by Rebecca Jarvis.
In the series, Holmes acquires funding and decides to hire the best in the business to take her company to the top. Thus, Holmes secures the services of renowned designer Ana Arriola. Since the show draws so much from reality, it is natural for viewers to ponder about the real Ana Arriola. In that case, here’s everything you need to know!
Is Ana Arriola Based on a Real Person?
In the third episode of ‘The Dropout,’ Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) meets with Ana Arriola, who is renowned in Silicon Valley for her design prowess in the technology space. Holmes wishes to hire Arriola to help design her new products, which will be compact machines for blood testing on a large scale. After a meeting with Holmes, Arriola accepts the job and works at Theranos. However, she soon realizes that Holmes is hiding things from her and the board members, leading to dissatisfaction. In the series, actress Nicky Endres essays the role of Ana Arriola. The actress is known for her performances in shows such as ‘Lucifer,’ ‘One Day at a Time,’ and ‘On the Verge.’
Endres’ character is based on the real Ana Arriola, a transgender woman with vast experience in working with some of the most famous tech companies. Arriola was born in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and attended school in San Fernando Valley. Soon after completing her 12th grade, Arriola moved to Japan. After a decade, she returned to the USA and started working at Adobe in 1998. Arriola later joined Apple and was a part of the original team that designed the iPhone. Around 2006, Arriola joined Holmes’ startup Theranos and served as the Chief Design Architect.
Where is Ana Arriola Now?
Just four short months after joining Theranos, Arriola grew unsatisfied with the company’s direction under Holmes. Moreover, she learned that the unfinished device was used to treat actual patients without undergoing proper regulatory checks. Therefore, Arriola resigned from Theranos after deeming its practices unethical. Following her exit from Theranos, Arriola worked as an executive at companies such as Facebook and Samsung.
She later joined Microsoft and served as a General Manager for the company’s Artificial Intelligence and Research Unit. Since 2018, Arriola has been in charge of the human-centric and ethical design of products at Microsoft. Arriola has also been vocal about her time at Theranos. She has provided source material, and insights for author John Carreyrou’s expose non-fiction book titled ‘Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup’ about Holmes and her business practices at Theranos. Arriola has founded two hardware startups and mentors LGBTQ entrepreneurs at Stanford’s D.School. Arriola is also an LGBTQ+ activist and was listed among Business Insider’s List of Most Influential LGBTQ+ People in Tech in 2019.
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