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News > Companies
Enron CEO Skilling quits
August 14, 2001: 5:16 p.m. ET

CEO of Houston-based energy provider quits, Lay to assume duties
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Energy provider Enron Corp. revealed Tuesday that President and CEO Jeff Skilling has resigned and current chairman Kenneth Lay will assume his post.

Lay agreed to stay on at Houston-based Enron (ENE: Research, Estimates) through the end of 2005. Skilling, who was elected CEO in February, cited personal reasons for his departure.

"We regret Jeff's decision to resign, as he has been a big part of our success for over eleven years," Lay said in a statement. "But, we have the strongest and deepest talent we have ever had in the organization, our business is extremely strong, and our growth prospects have never been better."

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Skilling has no plans to start another business or join another company, a spokesman said.

Lay served as Enron's CEO for 15 years and is credited with transforming the company from a regional gas pipe company into a company with a market capitalization of $70 billion that trades everything from natural resources to Internet bandwidth.

Skilling, whose resignation is effective as of Tuesday, was also instrumental in forming Enron's natural gas marketing and trading business, helping create the industry's first forward markets when he joined Enron in 1990 after a stint as management consultant with McKinsey and Co.

But Skilling's tenure in the No. 2 position has been marred by the underperformance of the company's much-ballyhooed broadband business, a massive and costly payment fight with the Indian government over Enron's $3 billion Dabhol power plant project and the breakup of a marquee video on-demand broadband Internet deal with Blockbuster Inc. (BBI: Research, Estimates) earlier this year.

Enron is also the world's leading wholesale supplier of power and has been a subject of harsh criticism from California elected officials, who blame it and other power generators for price gouging and creating the current energy crisis there.

All that has weighed heavily on Enron's stock price since mid-March, when it began an extended period of weakness. In the past year, Enron's stock has fallen from its all-time high of $90.56 reached on Aug. 23, 2000, to less than half that.

Shares of Enron closed at $42.93 Tuesday. In after hours trading on Instinet, they dropped $2.42 to $40.51. graphic


from staff and wire reports

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.