Former Enron Corp. executive Ken Lay, 64, was convicted of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history. What are your thoughts on his sudden death? What do you think his legacy will be in the world of business?
Although a lot of people were hurt both during and after the Enron collapse, I hope that many weren’t praying for Ken Lay to die as a result of his misdeeds. My hope is that his estate will bear the responsibility of complying with the court’s decision of fines and the return of certain assets, and that money will be used to help repay the retirees and investors and not just the attorneys. I fear this will be like the tobacco settlement where the attorneys got over $300 million.
Mr. Lay had a phenominal career, and did many great things along the way. I believe he was manipulated by Mr. Skilling and the Fastows, and somehow lost his focus on doing the right thing. Time will write his final epitaph, but I believe he was a great man led astray by trusting the wrong people, becoming too greedy, and losing touch with the very people that helped him get where he was.