Skilling resigns as Enron CEO; Lay assumes post


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 14 -- In a surprise move, energy giant Enron Corp. Tuesday said CEO and Pres. Jeffrey K. Skilling had resigned for personal reasons after less than a year at the helm.

Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay will assume the added responsibilities of president and CEO, positions he held for 15 years until Skilling took over in February, the company said in a press release after the market closed. Lay has extended his employment agreement with Enron through 2005.

"I am resigning for personal reasons. I want to thank Ken Lay for his understanding of this purely personal decision, and I want to thank the board and all of my colleagues at Enron," Skilling said in a statement. During a teleconference, Skilling said his reasons for leaving had nothing to do with Enron, based in Houston.

Skilling is credited with helping create Enron's business in natural gas marketing and trading, contributing to the industry's first forward markets when he joined Enron in 1990 after serving as a management consultant with McKinsey and Co.

But in the past year many top executives have left the company, the broadband business didn't develop as projected, and the company has been involved in a costly battle with the Indian government over the $3 billion Dabhol plant. Enron also got caught in the California electricity crisis.

Since March, Enron's stock price has fallen from a high of $90.56 in August 2000, to less than half of that. Recently, it has hovered near its 52-week low of $42. It closed Tuesday at $42.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Lay said there are no surprises about the company's operations or outlook that prompted the resignation.

"There are no changes in the earnings outlook," he said, and "no changes in business strategy." Lay noted the board had just met for a regular two-day meeting, and there were no "accounting, trading, or reserve issues" to be concerned with.

He said the investment community could expect "continuity," adding there will be organizational changes to fill the void left by Skilling's departure. He said Skilling will not receive a severance package because he is leaving voluntarily and his contract doesn't expire until 2003.

Skilling defended the company strategy of avoiding ownership of assets, noting a year ago the company was being pressured to invest in generation facilities. But, he noted, the decline in electricity and gas prices vindicates that decision.

The company has reduced its energy assets, including its natural gas and crude oil drilling company, now called EOG Resources Inc. Meanwhile, it is pursuing its goal of becoming the industry's biggest buyer and seller of energy products. The company also trades coal, metals, paper, weather derivatives, and fiber optic bandwidth.

Skilling said he was surprised by the speed of the "meltdown" in the broadband industry, but insisted Enron is getting its cost structure in that business in line with revenue. He said problems in California are winding down.

The company earned $979 million on revenue of $100.79 billion in 2000. It owns a 25,000-mile gas pipeline and merchant power plants in the US and abroad producing 9,000 Mw of electricity.

Related Articles

EOG Resources sells bulk of Canadian assets

12/09/2014 EOG Resources Inc., Houston, has divested all its Manitoba assets along with certain assets in Alberta in two separate deals that closed on Nov. 28...

EOG Resources improves Eagle Ford completions

10/16/2014 EOG Resources Inc. said completion design advances in the Eagle Ford shale contributed to several noteworthy well results in the second quarter.

Houston launches Energy High

03/10/2014 Last summer this editor had the opportunity to visit two corporate-backed oil and gas apprenticeship programs in Scotland. Aberdeen College and For...

Record Barnett HC content seen in combo play

12/02/2009 Hydrocarbon content in the thickest part of the Mississippian Barnett shale combo play in North Texas is so great that even 2-3% recovery is highly...

EOG sees reserve hike in Barnett Combo play

11/06/2009 Improved horizontal completion techniques in the North Texas Barnett Combo play have led EOG Resources Inc. to estimate that ultimate recoveries in...

Texas-East

11/06/2009 EOG Resources Inc. has expanded its acreage position in the Haynesville shale play to 153,000 net acres after adjusting for the expected exercise o...

Pennsylvania

09/22/2009

Seneca Resources Corp., Williamsville, NY, said its first operated Marcellus shale horizontal well averaged 5.8 MMcfd of gas over 6 days.

BLM begins scoping period for EOG Uinta basin gas project

09/09/2009 A 30-day public scoping period for a large natural gas infill project proposed by EOG Resources Inc. in eastern Utah will begin on Sept. 9, the US ...

Lower E&P spending ends 6-year global rally

12/20/2008 Global spending for exploration and production is expected to decline 12% to $400 billion in 2009—"a reversal after 6 years of global growth,"...
White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

When Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected