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Selfishness won’t pay off, says Shell

Daily Mail: Selfishness won’t pay off, says Shell

“Shell refused to comment on whether it is reviewing the role of its auditors, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The accountants may be targeted by the US law firm leading the class action suits against the embattled oil major.”

By Ruth Sunderland

30 August 04

EMBATTLED oil giant Shell is introducing a new bonus scheme next year to stamp out a selfish ‘me-first’ culture and encourage workers to devote themselves to the greater good of the company.

The group has come under fire for its lavish payouts to former bosses ousted in the wake of the reserves scandal that dragged it into unprecedented disgrace.

Sir Philip Watts received a £lm payoff and Dutchman Walter van de Vijver got £2.5m.

Boss Jeroen van der Veer said he hoped the new incentive plan would encourage staff to prioritise ‘enterprise first’ rather than ‘self first’.

Up to 90,000 people are expected to be covered by the new arrangements. Shell said: ‘Enterprise first addresses the importance of group needs ahead of the needs of individuals or operating units.’

Shell was last week hit by multi-million pound fines by UK and US regulators for overstating oil and gas reserves by a fifth despite repeated warnings from an internal auditor from as early as 2000.

Previously, some staff’s pay in the exploration and production division was influenced by oil reserves figures.

The new scheme is expected to come into effect in 2005.

Shell refused to comment on whether it is reviewing the role of its auditors, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The accountants may be targeted by the US law firm leading the class action suits against the embattled oil major.

Stanley Bernstein of Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz said his firm is ‘aggressively looking’ at the role the auditors played in the reserves affair.

The class action suits already implicate a number of present and former Shell executives.

Regulators are also now turning their attention to the individuals responsible for the disaster.

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