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Organisational Culture: Skilling May Soon Not be the Smartest Guy in Prison

Jim Riley

9th May 2013

Students attending our BUSS4 exam coaching workshops on Organisational Culture will be familiar with Jeff Skilling - the former CEO of Enron which collapsed so spectacularly over a decade ago.The Enron collapse was closely linked to a strong, through ultimately toxic organisational culture that developed at Enron, which was an online energy trading business that rose quickly to become the 7th most valuable firm in the US.The culture at Enron, described so powerfully in the film The Smartest Guys in the Room (and Broadway play of the same name) was a tough culture - a VERY tough culture. Students may recall the infamous policy of "rank and yank" in which 15% of Enron staff were dismissed each year as a result of Jeff Skilling's PRC (Performance Review Committee).Skilling rose to the position of CEO in 2001 only to abruptly resign six months later. Soon after that, Enron collapsed in one of the most notorious corporate scandals of all time.Jeff Skilling was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment back in May 2006 after he was found guilty on 19 counts of securities fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors. However, it now looks likely that Skilling will end up serving only 10-11 years of his sentence. The news clip below explains why in more detail as does this news article from the BBC.

Jim Riley

Jim co-founded tutor2u alongside his twin brother Geoff! Jim is a well-known Business writer and presenter as well as being one of the UK's leading educational technology entrepreneurs.

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