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MAY 15, 2000
COVER STORY -- E.BIZ -- THE E.BIZ 25

By: Wendy Zellner


Jeffrey Skilling


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Enron
----------
Position: President and COO

Contribution: Helped make Enron the nation's biggest wholesaler of gas and electricity. He's taking that online, with $27 billion-worth traded in the first quarter.

Challenge: Sell high-speed communications network capacity, hoping to trade bandwidth like a commodity.

When Enron Corp. (ENE) President Jeffrey K. Skilling takes key customers on an annual trip, it's no sedate golf outing. Instead, Skilling has led such jaunts as a 1,000-mile dirt-bike expedition in Mexico and a seven-day trek through the Australian Outback. No surprise, but Skilling, 46, doesn't limit his thrill-seeking to leisure time. His adventurous spirit has helped revolutionize the way natural gas and electricity are traded in the U.S. As deregulation swept those markets over the past decade, Skilling's once-sleepy pipeline company adapted to become the nation's leading power merchant. Now, Skilling has taken Enron's skills to the Net, selling $27 billion-worth of commodities in the first quarter.

Skilling's next challenge: trading the high-speed communications capacity crucial to the Internet Age. Enron buys and sells excess bandwidth on networks that connect to the Web and will soon move this trading online. This should boost annual revenues, which have soared from $4 billion to $40 billion during Skilling's 10-year tenure. ''For the first time, people will be able to source and sell bandwidth as a commodity,'' says Skilling. Who said the commodities business was a dead-end?




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