‘Skilling decided what numbers should be’

Kenneth Rice, former CEO of Enron’s broadband business, has claimed in his
testimony in Houston that Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron CEO, ordered
subordinates to mislead Wall Street investors about the company’s earnings,
according to reports from the trial.

Rice said: ‘Mr Skilling would simply say, in fact he did say, “This is what
the number’s going to be”. So we’d walk away and say, “All right, we’re going to
try and hit it.”‘

According to Rice, a quarterly loss of more than $146m (£84m) was projected
as a loss of $35m (£20m) on one occasion.

The trial against former Enron CEOs Skilling and Kenneth Lay, on charges of
conspiracy and fraud, is now in its third week – both men have claimed no
wrongdoing in the collapse of the energy giant in 2001, the most spectacular
corporate collapse in US history.

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