Friday, December 03, 2004

My take on Enron

I see in the paper today that there are 114 unindicted co-conspirators in the next phase of the Enron trials. This would be for the suits against Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling; the largest number of unindicted co-conspirators in history. While some see this as a vindication, or a gotcha, it just makes me sad.
You see, I had the pleasure of working for Enron. My brother still works for what is left, and for those interested, Enron has emerged from bankruptcy, but will probably flicker and die.
I was a Sr. Specialist on the electricity trading floor (Eastern US, the western US was traded in Portland, OR). I lead the group that developed the intranet for the traders. We delivered pricing and electricity demand information from over 500 points across the country every 5 minutes.
The culture was very entreprenurial. Anything we wanted to try - technology wise - we were allowed to try. If it made the information flow better we adopted it. Yes, it was very competitive, but that, I think, drove everyone to do their best. And we had some of the very best.
Now the corporation that I was so proud to be a part of, has a name that is synomous with greed and failure.
As far as my feelings for Ken Lay, I thank him for building a company that gave me the best and most enjoyable job a I have had to date (hopefully law will win out). He made some poor decisions and those decisions cost a lot of people a great deal of money. I understand that. But I hold him no ill will. He was always pleasant and humble when I would see him in the building.
After the fall I was fortunate. The power and gas trading groups were purchased by UBS Warburg. I stayed on for another 6 months until another big layoff caught me.
Thank the Lord for that because had I not been laid off I would not have entered law school. I really enjoy the law and cannot wait to practice.
So, as the rest of the nation prepares to receive their revenge on the evildoers of Enron, I take a minute to reflect on the glory that it once was; and to remember the friends that I made and fun we had.

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