10 Things You Didn’t Know about Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling

Jeffrey Skilling was the CEO of Enron. As a result, there are some people who might remember him because of the spectacular manner in which said corporation collapsed, which is why he winded up spending 14 years in federal prison. Recently, Skilling’s name has popped up in the news because he was released from federal custody in February of 2019. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling:

1. Studied Engineering Before Switching Over to Business

In school, Skilling studied engineering for some time before making a fateful choice to switch over to business. In time, this resulted in him getting a MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was one of the best students in his class.

2. Became a Consultant

Before he went over to Enron, Skilling was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, which is a firm that specializes in management consulting and related services. It was through his role as a consultant that Skilling managed to catch the eye of Enron founder Kenneth Lay, with the result that Skilling was hired on as the head of Enron Finance Corp.

3. Implemented Mark to Market Accounting

It was under Skilling’s leadership that Enron implemented mark to market accounting, which is a concept that might be more familiar to some people as fair market accounting. For those who are curious, it means using the “fair value” of assets and liabilities based on the prices that similar assets and liabilities in similar condition can fetch on the current market. Mark to market accounting is seen as one of the factors that made the Enron scandal possible, but it is important to note that can’t be blamed on the concept so much as the implementation of the concept. Basically, the complexity of mark to market accounting made it easier to conceal accounting fraud, which is one more reason that accounting standards are so important.

4. Joked About California Electricity Crisis

In 2000 and 2001, the state of California experienced an electricity crisis because of a shortage of electricity supply that caused multiple blackouts. Skilling is known to have joked about the crisis by saying that the difference between California and the Titanic was that the Titanic went down with its lights on. With that said, it can be argued that the state of California had the last laugh because it turned out that the electricity crisis was caused by Enron and other market manipulators, with the result that Enron was forced to settle.

5. Believed that Enron Didn’t Need Assets

Skilling was responsible for a very aggressive investment strategy on the part of Enron. Something that was fueled by his belief that the corporation didn’t need any assets.

6. Unexpected Resignation

In August of 2001, Skilling resigned from his position as the CEO of Enron. Soon afterwards, he was one of multiple Enron executives who sold numerous shares in the corporation, with the result that they managed to make huge sums of money before it filed for bankruptcy in December of 2001. Unsurprisingly, government regulators were rather suspicious about their excellent timing.

7. Known For a Bad Attitude

Skilling had something of a reputation for arrogance as well as a harsh attitude. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising that when he was called to the witness stand, he winded up losing his temper. Something that didn’t help him with his case.

8. Will Never Be Able to Serve As Either a Director or an Officer of a Public Corporation Ever Again

One of Skilling’s punishments is that he will not be able to serve as either an officer or a member of the Board of Directors for a public corporation ever again. Other criminals in other cases have had time-limited barrings, but in his case, it is permanent.

9. Favorite Book Is The Selfish Gene

Skilling’s favorite book is The Selfish Gene, which is a Richard Dawkins book that pushed for a more gene-centered view of evolution rather than either an organism or a group-centered view of the same subject matter. Unsurprisingly, Dawkins was less than enthused about Skilling’s support, which might have contributed to his later regret that he didn’t name his book The Immortal Gene.

10. Implemented a Harsh Performance Review System

During his tenure at Enron, Skilling implemented a harsh performance review system in which 15 percent of the employees had to be graded at the lowest level, which came with a requirement for them to either find another job at Enron within two weeks or get fired. In this, he might have been inspired by the similar grading system at Harvard Business School while he was a student there.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Careers CEOs Companies Education Entertainment Legal Politics Science Sports Technology
Matt Scullin
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Matt Scullin
video games
20 Things You Didn’t Know about Yahaha Studios
UPS
Does UPS Drug Test All Its Employees?
Collectibles Credit Cards Investing Real Estate Stocks
Cincinnati Reds
The 10 Most Expensive Cincinnati Reds Baseball Cards of All Time
Biotech
10 Biotech Stocks That are Solid Long-Term Investments
stock market
Is MGNI Stock a Solid Long Term Investment?
Aviation Boats Food & Drink Hotels Restaurants Yachts
House of Refuge
The 20 Best Things to do in Stuart, FL
Sweet Champagne
The 10 Best Sweet Champagnes Money Can Buy
Christopher Place Resort
20 Awesome Romantic Getaways in Tennessee
BMW Bugatti Cadillac Ferrari Lamborghini Mercedes Porsche Rolls Royce
Aston Martin
Does Aston Martin Make an SUV?
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan: An Enduring Love Affair
1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon
The 10 Best Station Wagons of the 90s
BMW Motorcycles Buell Ducati Harley Davidson Honda Motorcycles Husqvarna Kawasaki KTM Triumph Motorcycles Yamaha
2024 KTM RC990 Sportbike
A Closer Look at The 2024 KTM RC990 Sportbike
2022 BMW K1600GT
A Closer Look at The 2022 BMW K1600GT
2022 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114
A Closer Look at The 2022 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114
Electronics Fashion Health Home Jewelry Pens Sneakers Watches
Balancier S²
A Closer Look at The Greubel Forsey Balancier S² Watch
Chrome Hearts
Why Are Chrome Hearts Jeans So Expensive?
Grand Seiko
A Closer Look at the Grand Seiko SBGN003 9F Quartz GMT
Charli D'Amelio and Dixie D'Amelio
The 10 Richest TikTokers in 2021
Jawed Karim
How Jawed Karim Achieved a Net Worth of $160 Million
Renee Zellweger
How Renee Zellweger Achieved a Net Worth of $90 Million
The 10 Richest Crypto Billionaires in the World