Dear Former Directors of Disgraced Firms: Your Future’s So Bright, You Gotta Wear Shades


Dealbook wades into the service journalism waters and considers the plight of the wretched souls who sat on the boards of such now-defunct firms as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Will they ever work in this town again?

Of course! They already are, in fact. At quite lucrative and prestigious gigs. But the fate of Enron’s former directors is particularly instructive when considering their longer-term prospects. Yes, there were the high-profile jail sentences for the big executives like Jeffrey Skilling, but the guys “charged with overseeing the company” have landed on their feet. Some have academic careers that are humming along (the chairman of Enron’s audit committee teaches at Stanford’s Business School, for instance); four remain on corporate boards (including one guy for Lockheed Martin — he’s not a guy overly worried with optics, obviously ). Others have continued on in their non-Enron private sector careers without much of a problem at all. One former director was even named one of the “luckiest persons in Houston” by Fortune. (She sold off her stock before everything hit the fan.) Presumably, though, if their association with Enron taught them anything, it’s that you make your own luck. Maybe that’s why “a few of the directors conveniently omit Enron from their biographies.”

Ex-Directors of Failed Firms Have Little to Fear [Dealbook/NYT]