In Spring 2002, Jeff Skilling (the former CEO of Enron Corporation) incredulously testified before lawmakers that he thought Enron was in great shape the day he left and that he knew next to nothing about the off‐balance‐sheet transactions that ultimately brought down his company. As we watched the train derail that day, it became clear that lawmakers convened the hearing not only to assure the public that Congress too was angry, but also to look for a solution to the problem that a CEO didn’t know some pretty important things about his company, its operations and performance, and that the company’s independent auditors appeared compromised and may have acted accordingly.
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