Wayne Huizenga, Waste Management and Arthur Andersen

“There I was with no money, and had to run the business. That’s how it got started. But it wasn’t because I had a vision. It wasn’t because I wanted to be in the trucking business or the garbage business or anything like that. It just was a coincidence… “

-Wayne Huizenga


In 1968, Wayne Huizenga brought a garbage truck and started business of garbage hauling. Over a period of time he brought more trucks and also started acquiring other companies in similar business. His company Waste Management Inc. became a fortune 500 company.

“Our business team has been fortunate to be involved in more than one thousand deals, both buying and selling companies over the last forty years. During one nine-month period while we were building Waste Management, we bought one hundred companies. “

-Wayne Huizenga

Wayne Huizenga later moved to other businesses and made millions.


Decades earlier, an orphan called Arthur E Andersen was working as mail boy in day and attending school in night. He graduated from Kellogg School with degree in management. Later he became certified public accountant. In 1918 he started an audit firm called Arthur Andersen & Company.

“To preserve the integrity of the reports, the accountant must insist upon absolute independence of judgment and action”

-Arthur E Andersen


Auditors of Arthur Andersen were known for their expertise and honesty. Motto of organisation was “Think straight. Talk straight”.

“There was not enough money in the city of Chicago to make me approve the bad bookkeeping.”

-Arthur E Andersen


Arthur E Andersen died in 1947; Wayne then was 10 years old. By then Arthur Andersen has become one of the major audit firms of US.

During era of computerisation, Arthur Andersen became consultants to many organisation in area of automation of accounting system. Soon this practice became a major revenue earner for the company. Over a period of time the auditors started losing their importance and consultants started gaining importance. Consultancy was now not just confined to automation; they also gave advice on how to manage accounts. Many companies were hiring Arthur Andersen as consultants as well as auditors. This contradictory roles resulted in downfall of company. Now their employees were neither thinking straight, nor talking straight.


“If you were an auditor, you were relegated to second-class status. If you were a consultant, you were the top of the heap.”

-Harvey Kapnick, ex-employee, Arthur Andersen

Waste Management was on such company who had hired Arthur Andersen. The consultants helped them in committing accounting frauds to make company look more profitable. This could not go on for long, soon fraud was discovered and Arthur Andersen lost its reputation.

waste mgmt

Andersen was involved in some more scams- Worldcom, Sunbeam, Enron etc. Today Arthur Andersen is an insignificant company.



















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