Cruver, Brian 1971-
CRUVER, Brian 1971-
PERSONAL: Born 1971, in TX; married. Education: University of Southern California, B.A.; University of Texas, M.B.A., 1999.
ADDRESSES: Home—Houston, TX. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Carroll and Graf Publishers, 161 William St., Fl. 16, New York, NY 10038.
CAREER: Businessman. Mercer, consultant; Applied Materials, finance associate; Shell USA, associate; P2C Interactive, CEO and co-founder; Enron Corp., member of business development staff until 2001.
MEMBER: Texas Exes.
Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from anInsider, Carroll and Graf Publishers (New York, NY), 2002.
ADAPTATIONS: Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from an Insider was adapted as the Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. television movie, The Crooked E.
SIDELIGHTS: Brian Cruver worked for Enron Corporation for eight months, during which time the company went from riches to rags. After Enron released him, he detailed his account of the company's culture in his first book, Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from an Insider. The book was also made into a CBS television movie, The Crooked E, in 2002.
Born in 1971 and raised in Sugar Land, Texas, Cruver spent much of his life in his home state. After attending the University of Southern California and earning an undergraduate degree in communications, he returned to Texas to get his M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999. He accumulated experience in consulting, strategic planning and corporate finance by working at a "dot-com" and then at an energy trading company in Houston. In March, 2001, he was hired by Enron Corp.
Because Cruver thought he had landed the perfect job, he got married and bought a house in northwest Houston in a gated neighborhood with lakes and swans. When he first arrived at his new job, Enron Corp. was ranked number seven in the Fortune Five Hundred. There was an enormous shredder near his desk and a sparkling collection of executives' Porsches and BMW's in the parking lot. But reality quickly set in; the $50,000 bar tabs and uncapped bonuses couldn't fly with the accounting books forever.
In the book, Cruver, who worked in Enron's bankruptcy risk-protection business, described how the company's stock plunged from $61 per share to only pennies. Enron, begun as an energy trader, had evolved into an abstract commodity broker with almost no assets to prop it up. Chief executive officer Jeff Skilling resigned, and Enron Corp. filed for bankruptcy, laying Cruver off along with thousands of other employees.
Anatomy of Greed may not truly give an inside look at the resulting scandal, noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "Because of his comparatively low-level status within the company and lack of real access to the company's inner workings, Cruver's awareness of Enron's financial problems was essentially limited to the same press releases and newspaper accounts the general public saw." Enveloped in the pride of his Enron Corp. job, Cruver ignored advice from an investor friend, worked on his resume amid frantic shredding of documents as part of the cover-up, and collected several paychecks after he had been laid off, the reviewer commented.
Other critics complimented the work. Booklist's David Siegfried noted that "Cruver succeeds in making sense of the whole mess while also generating sympathy for the hapless employees." And a Library Journal reviewer commented that much of Cruver's information is equally available to the public, but that because the book provided a human side to the scandal and to all of the employees who lost their jobs it is a worthwhile addition to business book collections.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2002, David Siegfried, review of Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from an Enron Insider, p. 1882.
Library Journal, September 1, 2002, review of Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from an Enron Insider, p. 188.
Publishers Weekly, July 22, 2002, review of Anatomy of Greed: Tthe Unshredded Truth from an Enron Insider, pp. 165-166.
Anatomy of Greed Web site, http://www.anatomyof greed.com (June 7, 2003).
Salt Lake Tribune Online,http://www.sltrib.com/ (June 7, 2003), "Young Trader's Take on Enron Made into TC Movie."*