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The scandal also brought into question the accounting practices and activities of many corporations in the United States and was a factor in the enactment of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002.
The scandal also affected the greater business world by causing the dissolution of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm.
In 1989, Jeffrey Skilling, then a consultant at Mc Kinsey & Co., came up with the idea to link natural gas to consumers in more ways, effectively turning natural gas into a commodity.
Enron adopted the idea and called it the "Gas Bank." The division's success prompted Skilling to join Enron as the head of the Gas Bank in 1991.
The subsidiary Northern Natural Gas operated the largest natural gas pipeline company in North America.
It was reorganized in 1979 as the main subsidiary of a holding company, Inter North, which was a diversified energy and energy-related products company.Before its bankruptcy on December 2, 2001, Enron employed approximately 20,000 staff and was one of the world's major electricity, natural gas, communications and pulp and paper companies, with claimed revenues of nearly 1 billion during 2000.Fortune named Enron "America's Most Innovative Company" for six consecutive years.Towards the end of the 1970s HNG's luck began to run out with rising gas prices forcing clients to switch to oil. Matthews briefly took over as CEO in a 3-year stint with initial success but ultimately saw a big dip in earnings that led to his exit.In addition, with the passing of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, the Texas market was more difficult to profit from and as a result the profits of HNG fell. In 1984, Kenneth Lay succeeded Matthews and inherited the troubled, but large diversified energy conglomerate.
A new board of directors changed the name of Enron to Enron Creditors Recovery Corp., and emphasized reorganizing and liquidating certain operations and assets of the pre-bankruptcy Enron.