Scene 10: Private Meeting
Sheryl Sloman and Ken Lay are in a meeting with Skilling.
(to Skilling)You're resigning?
Lay We wanted to tell you first.
Sloman When are you going public with this?
Lay Later on today. We don't want the market getting the wrong idea. You've been a great cheerleader for us.
Sloman I'm a professional stock analyst.Let's not pretend. This is highly unusual. There should be a year leading up to this, a structured handover. Jeff, why are you resigning?
Skilling (teary) The company's in great shape, it couldn't be less to do with that. I … A company like this, it consumes your life. I've neglected my daughter. This is personal.
Lay It's not cos of the stock.
Skilling I'm doing this for the company. It'll go up when I announce. The market's decided. It wants me out.
Sloman That's not true. People say, people say all over, 'I'm not long Enron, but I'm long Jeff Skilling.'
This seems to affect him deeply.
Skilling You pour your life into something and, if it doesn't reflect back at you … I'm so tired.I can't sleep.
Sloman Are you worried about recent performance? Are there accounting issues?
Lay There are no accounting / issues –
(to Skilling)Is that why you can't sleep?
Skilling I haven't slept since I was fourteen.
Sloman People are talking about what's been going on here.
Lay We're going to deal with all that.
Sloman That Fortune article raised a lot of questions.
Lay I can honestly say the company's in the best shape it's ever been.Jeff?
Skilling I should go.
Lay Yeah, you go get ready to announce.
Sloman This is a blow for you.
Lay (understating) I would have preferred he stay.
Sloman Is Jeff sick, Ken?
Lay Depends what you mean by sick.
Sloman I've always been a supporter of Enron Corporation. But, you know, the CEO leaving like this? That doesn't spin. You've got to hold this thing together.
Lay Don't you worry about anything here. I'm a safe pair of hands.
With a reassuring squeeze of her arm, Lay stalks off, leaving Sloman thoughtful.
News Reporters In breaking news, Enron's CEO has resigned. Now the market's left asking the question the company is famous for: WHY?