Saturday, May 9, 2015

Jayshree Desai - Perhaps the Person Running Clean Lie Energy llc's

Recently the Clean Line Energy Partners llc files with the Illinois Commerce Commission that the Grain Belt Express Holdings llc is no longer a limited liability corporation of Delaware.  Grain Belt Express Holdings llc is now a limited liability corporation of Indiana.  Apparently they packed up the UHAUL and it's an Indiana llc with no employees office or anything now.

For the time being this is being filed under WTF.  What’s the relevance to such a small irrelevant change?  Not surprisingly, these papers were signed by Jayshree Desai, Clean Line Energy’s Chief Operations Officer. 

Has anyone else ever wondered what does Jayshree Desai actually do for team Clean Line?  What does a Chief Operations Officer do for a company that has no operations?  A company with no wires, poles or towers.  A company with no transformers, no customers, no service trucks, and no operational employees.  There is no nuts & bolts to the business, so what does one do as Chief Operational Officer. 

She brings experience.  Like a many of the Clean Line llc core, she worked with Skelly at Horizon Wind.  Before that she was in the merger and accusation department at ENRON.  Clearly she has some business skills.  M&A was a key part of ENRON’s “success”. 

In an organizational chart, Skelly is the president.  He’s the guy with the title in the top square.  We get that, mister Harvard MBA, and all.  He sells the imaige (French word for phony) of this company in his own cheesy way.  He tries to come across as homey but with the ego of an “entrepreneur” title.  His main job is to sell the image of this company. 

Jimmy Glotfetly has the image of the grey suit ex-bureaucrat.  He sells the mirage of the stuffy Washington insider who attempts to add legitimacy as being in tight with other stuffies at the Department of Energy.  Ultimately, he’s just another political science diploma with little imagination.

Like Skelly and Jimmy, most everyone else in this company has the job of selling the perception of a company who has no physical assets.  People like Hans Detweiller and Mark Lawlor as “Directors of Development” bring lobbyist experience with close ties to the wind energy associations and other conservation-mitigation organizations.  Below that level, people who are more effective playing the "save-the-planet-while-my-new-child-is-in-a-Chicago-daycare" roll, cover the front lines with the county boards and local papers as "managers" and "associates"  .  They fill in the humanizing gaps where the Hans’ come across as something of an ass.  Still aggressive and professional but with attempts to be a little softer. 

But Jayshree Desai has been a bit of an enigma.  At big public affairs, like the Mendota public comments to the ICC, she tends to stand in the back against the wall and shy away from the public.   She doesn’t testify before the state utility commissions. 

In a company where nearly everyone from the President on down has the job of selling the perception of a transmission company that owns no transmission, she stand out.  By their nature, others who are professional lobbyists and glorified used car salesmen, she is neither.  People like Lawlor are professionals at feeding bull crap, make it an art, and people accept these people are full of crap.  

When people like Jayshree say the same talking points, it comes across as a liar is speaking.  It’s kind of like one person can say a dirty joke in a work environment and everyone thinks it’s funny, but when another says the same joke, it comes across as offensive.  Some people are artists at saying the offensive and can get away with it, while other people get slapped with a lawsuit before the end of the day. 

Perhaps, in many respects, that is an accurate perception of Jayshree.  In a company full of professional conmen, she can’t get away with saying the crap the rest of the team gets away with.  She’s not a Director of Development, Manager or an Associate.  These are the professional conmen.  She is not.  She is more apt to come across as offensive and a liar without the flare, flamboyancy, or panache.  Therefore at public functions an attempt is made to become a wallflower.  She has to be there, but when selling a product that is so toxic to the public like a 500-750 mile extension cord (aerial sewer), others are better in attempting to make it sound less offensive.  So why do they keep her around?

Perhaps, While not the mastermind brain of CLEP, she is one of the two smart people in the company.  Somebody has to do the actual work.  Someone has to file for permits, interview and hire people, sign legal documents, do the planning, budgeting, communicate with investors and explain what is going on.   Someone has to coordinate with the couple of analyst, and keep an eye on "brain-cancer-is-funny" Deral and "brain-cancer-powerlines-are-beautiful" Wayne (the engineers), and the two environmental guys.  Looking at her resume page at the Clean Line llc website, you’d think she runs the company. 

“As Chief Operating Officer of Clean Line Energy, Jayshree Desai oversees all company operations including strategy, planning, budgeting, finance, legal and human resources. Jayshree also leads negotiations for all commercial arrangements, including transmission service agreements, acquisitions and partnerships, equipment supplier agreements, and construction contracts. In addition she interfaces with Clean Line’s Board of Directors on company progress and milestones, capital needs, and investment opportunities.”

Actually, if this information was on a person’s resume, one would believe it is a bit inflated, but at Clean Line Energy Partner’s, it’s probably all true.  In a company with a variety of specialized artists in slinging poop, she probably does run the company.  No, she isn't the mastermind or brain behind this house of limited liability holding companies.  Although, she might be the one person capable of getting a job for an actual energy company when this house of cards collapses. 

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