Keiko Fujimoto: Who Is Sunny Balwani’s Ex-Wife?

Keiko Fujimoto is a Japanese artist and the ex-wife of American business mogul and former president and Chief Operating Officer of Theranos, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Born on June 13, 1965, in Sindh, Pakistan, Balwani hails from an upper-middle-class Sindhi Hindu farming family.

Early Life and Education

Sunny Balwani studied at the prestigious Aitchison College in Lahore, a residential school known for educating “youths of good family” during the British colonial era. Fluent in English, Hindi, and Urdu, Balwani’s family eventually emigrated to India due to the difficulties of being Hindu in predominantly Muslim Pakistan. They later moved to America, where Balwani began his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas in Austin in 1987. He joined the Pakistani Students Association there. Despite leaving school early to work, Balwani completed his degree in information systems in 1997. Though he started using the name “Sunny” in 2012, he had used his given name, Ramesh, in official records and divorce papers up until the early 2000s.

Career Beginnings

During the 1990s, Balwani worked for Microsoft and Lotus Software, primarily in sales roles. Although he claimed to have written tens of thousands of lines of code, independent investigations could not verify these claims, and several Microsoft managers did not recall him. While at Microsoft, he met and married Japanese artist Keiko Fujimoto. In late 1999, Balwani became the President of, a software company that facilitated online auctions. Commerce One acquired the company in 1999, and Balwani joined its board, making around $40 million from his shares before the dot-com bubble burst.

Balwani later returned to school, earning a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003. He also attended Stanford University’s PhD program in computer science for four years before leaving in 2008. It was at Berkeley that he met Elizabeth Holmes, who would later found Theranos.

Role at Theranos

In 2009, Balwani joined Theranos as its president, managing daily operations. His lack of expertise in biological sciences or medical devices became evident, particularly given the absence of medical professionals on the company’s board. Former employees described him as domineering and paranoid about industrial espionage. Balwani was known for using technical jargon he seemingly did not understand to appear knowledgeable.

The Wall Street Journal published an article in October 2015 revealing that Theranos’ Edison blood testing system provided inaccurate results. A subsequent government report in March 2016 confirmed these findings, stating that Edison devices frequently failed quality-control checks.

After a CMS visit to Theranos’ Newark, California lab in January 2016, the agency recommended suspending Balwani’s ability to operate a blood lab for two years. This followed Theranos’ failure to address the lab’s issues. Additionally, Theranos falsely claimed its technology was used by the U.S. Department of Defense and exaggerated its revenue. Balwani left Theranos in May 2016.

Personal Life and Marriage to Keiko Fujimoto

Keiko Fujimoto lived in San Francisco with Balwani until their divorce in 2002. While at Theranos, Balwani was romantically involved with Elizabeth Holmes. Their relationship began in 2002 when Holmes was 18 and still a student, while Balwani was 37 and married. Investors were unaware of their relationship. Holmes later testified that she turned to Balwani for support after being raped at Stanford.


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