Enron Chairman Turns Down $60M Package

Enron Corp. Chairman Ken Lay turned down up to $60.6 million that he stood to receive once the merger with Dynegy is complete. "He has told the employees that he has given a lot of thought to this over the last few days and in light of the circumstances surrounding the company and after listening to the employees he has decided the best thing to do is waive his right to the payment," Enron spokesman Vance Meyer said.

Lay decided it best to forego the Enron compensation package after consulting with employees Tuesday. He let those who work for him know of his decision via voicemail. Meyer said the compensation package is the only merger related payment Lay is eligible for from Enron. A Dynegy spokesman, John Sousa, said the company is unsure if Lay could receive a retirement package from them.

Dynegy's purchase of Enron, worth at least $9.8 billion in stock, would trigger a clause in Lay's contract that gives him a lump sum of $20.2 million for each full calendar year remaining in his contract if there is a change in control of Enron, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lay's contract with Houston-based Enron runs through 2005.

Dynegy executives have said they hope to complete their acquisition of Enron by next summer. The Houston-based energy marketer will assume $13 billion of Enron debt. The Enron name will vanish when the deal is completed.