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Enron's Andrew Fastow: The Mistakes I Made

Enron's Andrew Fastow: The Mistakes I Made
Photograph by F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg

Andrew Fastow, the former chief financial officer at Enron who pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, forfeited nearly $24 million, and spent more than five years in prison for securities fraud, is sharing his story with business students. To start, Fastow, a graduate of the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, recently spoke with students at the University of Colorado–Boulder Leeds School of Business. There are already others like him—white-collar criminals—who are making the rounds at B-schools. The idea is to teach future leaders what not to do.

After reading a Bloomberg Businessweek article co-written by Leeds Dean David Ikenberry about the need to teach ethics at business schools, Fastow reached out to the school and offered to make the visit. “I was initially taken aback,” says Ikenberry. “I was personally aware of his story because I started my career as a finance professor at Rice University in Houston [where Enron was headquartered]. … I had personal awareness of the human tragedy—the suicides, divorces, those who lost everything, the toll on corporate America, etc. Enron is one of our world’s greatest corporate tragedies.”