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Avow or Avoid?: The Public Communication Strategies of Enron and WorldCom
Unformatted Document Text:  Avow or Avoid? 21 biographical data on the two new appointees, the tone of the document was forward-looking, quoting one of the new managers as saying, “Our focus is on the future of WorldCom” (WorldCom Appoints CRO, July 28, 2002, para. 4). Additionally, Sidgmore was quoted saying, “These appointments are an important step in moving WorldCom forward…” (WorldCom Appoints CRO, July 28, 2002, para. 2). The new officers would oversee negotiations with creditors, development of financial projections, communicating with stakeholders, and selling “non-core” assets (WorldCom Appoints CRO, July 28, 2002, para. 3). On August 8, WorldCom announced discovery of an additional $3.3 billion in improperly reported earnings (WorldCom Announces Additional, August 8, 2002). “The company intends to continue too expeditiously announce unaudited changes to previously reported financial statements if it discovers additional issues” (WorldCom Announces Additional, August 8, 2002, para. 3). About a week later (August 14, 2002), an open letter was released under Sidgmore’s signature. The letter, aimed at customers, noted the new finding of $3.3 billion more in misreported earnings and assured customers that these findings would not affect WorldCom’s “ability to provide you the robust services you have come to rely upon” (Letter, August 14, 2002, para. 3). He pled for understanding that announcement of these findings “are indicative of our commitment to re-build your confidence in us by getting to the bottom of any past irregularities and disclosing them promptly” (Letter, August 14, 2002, para. 2). He finally announced that the first meeting of the restructuring committee had been held a week earlier and that it was “an important first step toward WorldCom’s emergence from reorganization” (Letter, August 14, 2002, para. 4). On September 10, 2002, WorldCom announced a change in management as part of its restructuring process. The announcement stated that a search for a new president and CEO would begin and, when a satisfactory candidate was found, Sidgmore would return to his

Authors: Reber, Bryan. and Gower, Karla.
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Avow or Avoid?
21
biographical data on the two new appointees, the tone of the document was forward-looking,
quoting one of the new managers as saying, “Our focus is on the future of WorldCom”
(WorldCom Appoints CRO, July 28, 2002, para. 4). Additionally, Sidgmore was quoted saying,
“These appointments are an important step in moving WorldCom forward…” (WorldCom
Appoints CRO, July 28, 2002, para. 2). The new officers would oversee negotiations with
creditors, development of financial projections, communicating with stakeholders, and selling
“non-core” assets (WorldCom Appoints CRO, July 28, 2002, para. 3).
On August 8, WorldCom announced discovery of an additional $3.3 billion in
improperly reported earnings (WorldCom Announces Additional, August 8, 2002). “The
company intends to continue too expeditiously announce unaudited changes to previously
reported financial statements if it discovers additional issues” (WorldCom Announces
Additional, August 8, 2002, para. 3).
About a week later (August 14, 2002), an open letter was released under Sidgmore’s
signature. The letter, aimed at customers, noted the new finding of $3.3 billion more in
misreported earnings and assured customers that these findings would not affect WorldCom’s
“ability to provide you the robust services you have come to rely upon” (Letter, August 14, 2002,
para. 3). He pled for understanding that announcement of these findings “are indicative of our
commitment to re-build your confidence in us by getting to the bottom of any past irregularities
and disclosing them promptly” (Letter, August 14, 2002, para. 2). He finally announced that the
first meeting of the restructuring committee had been held a week earlier and that it was “an
important first step toward WorldCom’s emergence from reorganization” (Letter, August 14,
2002, para. 4).
On September 10, 2002, WorldCom announced a change in management as part of its
restructuring process. The announcement stated that a search for a new president and CEO
would begin and, when a satisfactory candidate was found, Sidgmore would return to his


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