Enron Mail

Date:Sat, 1 Dec 2001 11:47:31 -0800 (PST)

Mr Lay:

It is easy for me to understand the feelings of anger of many of my co-workers and peers as the turn of events at Enron has probably taken the worst possible route.

I do not understand, however, why so many people blame you personally for the whole process. This is a business issue, and as a business failure, the "fault" if there is such thing, belongs to no one. It's just a fact of life that businesses fail, and businesses succeed. Enron was always on top, and when that was the case, although people recognized your leadership, the common knowledge was that it was all a "team effort".
I find it unfair and unhealthy to hear people's currennt comments about upper management including, particularly, yourself. I have the sense that for many people it has become a personal thing, and that should definitely should not be the case.

As a personal note, I have to say that I feel for you. Seeing what you built for many years crumble to dust like Enron has, and then leave with that legacy must not be easy. The closest analogy I can think of is the Concorde. There are many parallels among the Concorde and Enron. Both were a marvel of innovativeness, technology and talent, each in its own time. After Concorde's first crash last year, it was imperative that it fly again. It would have been a bitter and undignified end for such a graceful, advanced machine if it did not. Many engineers, originally involved in the process of building Concorde in the 60's and 70's came out of retirement to participate in its modification process. And now, it is flying again, with pride.

Given the pragmatic and cold facts of business, I do not think you will have that opportunity. Whether Enron flies again (and I'm sure it will) you will not be a participant to its re-birth. Even though for the past 2 months you have spent countless sleepless nights, away from your family and trying effortlessly to get the best possible solution, you will not be here to see the fruits of your work. For some time to come, people will associate you with Enron's demise, and will blame you for it. Few will remember that it was you who made Enron what it was, in our best days. I believe strongly that that is not fair.

Thanks for what you have done, for the past 25 years and the past 3 weeks. You are probably one of the people most affected by this, at least emotionally. Thanks for your courage in keeping us updated, through voicemails and e-mails, knowing that most of them will be deleted, just by the mention of "office of the chairman". And please keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there that recognize what you've done, your recent efforts, your strength and presence of mind in these tough times.

My only hope is that you will find solace and tranquility, in knowing that what you should remember of your tenure at Enron is all the years you were at its helm, not the last 6 months and horrible 3 weeks.

Martin Gonzalez