Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Shell agrees to cull surplus non-execs

Sunday Telegraph: Shell agrees to cull surplus non-execs

“Executives of Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, have agreed to make a huge cull of its non-executive directors…”: “Meanwhile Judy Boynton, the discredited former finance director, is understood to be likely to agree her severance package in the next two weeks.”: “Her position was seen as untenable after the reserves debacle.”: “It is understood that her package will be close to her contractual terms, which guarantee a payoff worth at least $1m.”

By Sylvia Pfeifer (Filed: 26/09/2004)

Executives of Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, have agreed to make a huge cull of its non-executive directors – the clearest sign yet that the company will unify its two boards next year.

The boards of the two companies – Royal Dutch and Shell Transport & Trading – currently have 16 non-executives between them, far more than the average UK plc board.

The non-execs on the Royal Dutch board include some of Holland’s leading business and political figures, including Wim Kok, the country’s former prime minister. Shell Transport & Trading’s board has nine non-executives.

Shell has come under intense pressure from institutional shareholders to reform its complex dual structure, with investors pressing the issue in recent weeks.

“Our view is that you need an appropriately balanced board between executives and non-executives. Nine or 10 non-executives might be a more normal number,” said one shareholder.

The recognition that the number of non-executives should be radically cut is further evidence that Shell will, at the very least, move to having two identical boards.

The company is due to announce the results of its corporate governance review in November. It was launched after the company announced in January that it had overbooked its proven oil and gas reserves by 25 per cent and conceded that it needed to overhaul its management systems. The debacle led to the departure of Shell’s two top executives, Sir Philip Watts, the former chairman, and Walter van de Vijver, the head of exploration and production.

Meanwhile Judy Boynton, the discredited former finance director, is understood to be likely to agree her severance package in the next two weeks. Boynton was asked to step down in April after the company fired Watts and van de Vijver. Her position was seen as untenable after the reserves debacle. She has remained a company employee “in an advisory capacity” while her package has been negotiated.

It is understood that her package will be close to her contractual terms, which guarantee a payoff worth at least $1m.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: