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Changing mood of Shell Staff arising from restructuring

AN EMAIL SENT TO SHELL CEO PETER VOSER FROM JOHN DONOVAN: 29 OCTOBER 2009 11.49 GMT

Dear Mr Voser

As well as being the operator of a well known Shell related website (royaldutchshellplc.com) I am also a long term Shell shareholder.

I received yesterday an email from a person closely associated with Shell providing a perspective on the changing mood of Shell staff arising from the restructuring. His comments struck me as being timely, genuine and well-informed. If correct, they are likely to be a cause for concern to you, your colleagues and Shell shareholders.

Have spoken to a number of Shell people recently and it’s very interesting how dispirited they are. I guess BP’s recent successes are not going to make them any happier, but there seems to be a widely held view that until/unless there is a real change in management, with rather more visionary and inspirational leaders, nothing is going to change and the downward spiral will continue. Even those people who were once strong Shell advocates, who once expected Shell to provide them with a lifelong career now know that they cannot entrust their future (and that of their family) to Shell. Many of Shell’s best people are now making their own preparations for careers outside Shell, whether or not they expect to be successful in applying for the positions currently on offer.

The need to search for positions in the new organization and make the required applications is a time consuming exercise, and has certainly focused the minds of many of Shell’s staff. However, rather than focusing their attention on the business of finding, producing and selling oil and gas, it has instead diverted the attention of the entire organization away from the business. And for many the question is no longer “how will I develop my career within Shell” – the most important question is “will the positions that I am considering really provide me with a future, and how will it look on my resume when I have to move on?”

You can take these comments on board or dismiss them as being unfounded. That is obviously your prerogative.

If you would prefer me not to send you information I consider should be brought to your personal attention, please say so and I will comply with your request. You may on the other hand consider it useful to receive input not influenced by a desire to please the boss.

Best Regards

John Donovan

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