After playing a video from 1998 about Enron’s commitment to respect, integrity, communication and excellence, Lynn Brewer remarked, “I still wish I could work for that company.”
Brewer, a former Enron executive turned whistleblower, spoke to a class of business graduate students at Arizona State University’s Research Park in Tempe on Wednesday about business ethics and integrity.
At the energy company, Brewer was responsible for risk management in energy operations, the e-commerce initiatives for Enron’s water subsidiary and competitive intelligence for the company’s broadband services.
In her time there, Brewer witnessed several corrupt practices, some of which she was asked to cover up. “It’s important to do the right thing, but it’s more important to do the right thing the right way,” she said.
After resigning in November 2001, Brewer wrote a book called “Confessions of an Enron Executive: A Whistleblower’s Story,” and founded her own business, The Integrity Institute. The institute will assess and certify corporate integrity biannually using existing business intelligence software that predicts whether the health of a company will improve or worsen.
Brewer said the decision to blow the whistle can be costly. About 50 percent of whistleblowers typically lose their jobs or their families after doing so.
“I never consciously said, ‘OK, I’m gonna do something noble today,’ ” Brewer said, “But if I could go back in time, I would blow the whistle again.”