Kenneth Lay, the ex-CEO of Enron took a small natural gas company, and created a financial powerhouse. In just a little over 15 years, Enron grew into one of the US's largest companies. It embraced new technologies, established new methods of trading in energy and seemed to be a shining example of successful corporate America. .
Kenneth Lay himself was awarded a place in the Texas Business Hall of Fame for his achievement of bringing the small company to where it stood. Many surveys showed Kenneth Lay as one of the top managers for the nation. His background of academic and government positions helped back his position as a dedicated leader.
Disaster then struck the companies success was all smoke and mirrors created by artificially inflated profits, dubious accounting practices, and fraud. The company unraveled and came crashing down, resulting in thousands of people loosing their jobs and life savings that they invested in to the company.
Enron was born in July of 1985 with a merger of Houston Natural and Omaha-based InterNorth. Kenneth Lay was elected as the chairman and chief executive of the company. Around the same time Washington began to lift the controls over who produced energy and how it was distributed. Kenneth Lay saw a chance to make the small company thrive and seized it. Enron guaranteed its customers stable prices during the energy regulation changes. The response to the stable energy prices that Enron was offering was huge. Everyone wanted future gas at the fixed prices of today.
In a few years Enron was responsible for over one fourth of the gas business for the United States. Kenneth Lay then decided that it would be profitable to expand its business into other fields by trading other commodities such as coal and steel. Early in the year 2000 Enron was peaking its economic success and began to invest into broadband Internet networks seeing the dot.com economy expand with profits.