Skilling elected Enron CEO; Lay retains chairman's post

Enron Corp. Pres. Jeffrey K. Skilling has been elected chief executive officer of Enron Corp. effective Feb. 12, 2001. Kenneth L. Lay will continue to serve as chairman of the board, putting to rest talk that Lay may take a job in Washington, DC, if Texas Gov. George W. Bush becomes US president, Skilling said in a statement.


Enron Corp. Pres. Jeffrey K. Skilling has been elected chief executive officer of Enron Corp. effective Feb. 12, 2001. Kenneth L. Lay will continue to serve as chairman of the board, putting to rest talk that Lay may take a job in Washington, DC, if Texas Gov. George W. Bush becomes US president, Skilling said in a statement.

"The best time for succession is when the successor is ready and when the company is well positioned for the future,'' said Lay, currently Enron's chairman and CEO. "With Jeff's promotion, succession is clear, our deep pool of management talent remains intact, and no other organizational changes need to be made to take the company to new levels of growth.''

Enron shares were down 1/4 to 76 15/16 in early trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is off its 52-week high of 90 3/4.

Skilling, 47, joined Enron in 1990 after leading McKinsey & Co.'s energy and chemical consulting practices. He is widely credited with pioneering Enron's use of risk management products and forward contracting structures in the natural gas industry. Now the largest US marketer of gas and electricity, the Houston company has since applied similar risk management concepts in electricity, bandwidth, metals, and a range of other commodity products.

He became president and chief operating officer in December 1996 and has served on the company's board of directors since that time. Skilling received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University.

"I am particularly happy that Ken and I will continue running the company together and that he has put the rumors of his possible departure to Washington, DC, to rest,'' said Skilling.

Lay, 58, became Enron's chairman and CEO in February 1986, following the creation of the company through the merger of Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. Prior to his tenure at Enron, Lay had served as chairman and CEO of Houston Natural Gas, president and chief operating officer of Transco Energy Co., and president of Continental Resources Co. Lay also served as an officer in the US Navy, and as Deputy Under Secretary for Energy in the US Department of the Interior.

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