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Royal Dutch Shell CIO Alan Matula criticized by insiders

With Brinded now gone, might CIO Alan Matula now come under scrutiny? The parallels are there: years of over-promise/under-delivery, aggressive suppression of bad news, and the intimidation of critics through behaviour bordering on the psychopathic.

Posting on Shell Blog by it4us 2012/03/05 at 8:37 am

With Brinded now gone, might CIO Alan Matula now come under scrutiny ? The parallels are there: years of over-promise/under-delivery, aggressive suppression of bad news, and the intimidation of critics through behaviour bordering on the psychopathic. There’s little doubt that the cost of Matula’s vanity projects is playing a significant role on the demise of Downstream, where businesses like Retail make margin on cans of Coke. It’s sad to see DS businesses being divested, but at least one can share their sense of relief as they leave Shell and start divesting themselves of all this junk.

SELECTION OF PREVIOUS SHELL BLOG COMMENTS ABOUT ALAN MATULA

rwilliamson on Jul 24th, 2010 at 8:12 am

Matula has a gift for taking and getting credit for some of the bigget busts ever…GID, GID2, GSAP, SAP MegaCentre,…..

And for all his focus on cost cutting has anyone looked at the Downsteam IT folks from the US an expat now? Interesting that most previously did their jobs from Houston, but it was time to get the lucrative expat assignment.

IT4me on Jul 18th, 2010 at 8:18 am

GID: THE LONG FAREWELL TO WINDOWS 2000

Talking of Matula/Crotts, is anyone tracking the progress of “GID”, the centralised windows desktop that is the supposed flagship of Shell IT ? GID1 started in 2000, took 5 years to stabilise, cost a fortune, and reached the finishing line just as Microsoft was ending support for Windows 2000, so was immediately in need of replacement. SUSTAINABLE ? We were assured it would all be quicker next time around, with infrastructure now in place and updates done by wire. GID2 (VISTA) duly started mid 2005. The calendar on my Windows 2000 (GID1) PC says it is now mid 2010, so GID2 has already taken as long as GID1, cost a fortune, and isn’t over yet.

When will it finish ? Published plans say mid 2011. “We’re well ahead of schedule in our current rollout” said Alan Matula in a recent presentation. That’s interesting because original plans suggest it is several YEARS late, but in this looking-glass world, plans just get “reset” whenever they slip. So in a sense, every project is automatically on schedule.

It’s interesting to reflect that before GID came along RDS already had a windows system (“SDE”) that delivered centralised licencing and updates by wire at a fraction of GID costs. SDE wasn’t ‘locked down, so direct comparison is unfair – but how many extra billions is the lockdown worth, and how much is pure control-freakery ? Pinch yourself and you might notice that a ‘PC World’ customer with a Windows CD and no formal training can upgrade their home PC inside 1 day while GID takes 6 YEARS. Then remind yourself that INFRASTRUCTURE is Shell IT’s core business, arguably the ONLY area in which they have any competence. You can guess what the rest is like.

rwilliamson123 on Jul 17th, 2010 at 3:25 am

A Shell Executive surrounding himself with “yes men / women”. See Mr. Matula for the best example of this. Mr. Crotts hasn’t had an original idea in his years at Shell, but spouts the Matula mantra as if he had conceived it himself. Matula doesn’t have the time of day for anyone with a varying viewpoint.

Since his big reorganization and outsourcing, you now his loyalists (SG2 and above) making key decisions like who gets smartphones, how much disk space each user gets, etc. (these were decisions that were mangaged by SG6 & 7 in the previous model.

Shellwaarbenjijnu on Jun 28th, 2010 at 8:38 pm (extract)

IT4u / me – you must be commenting on a different company! I have just read an interview with Mr Matula in the McKinsey Quarterly, March 2010 and everything is wonderful, the users are happy, the enterprise is humming.

For the full interview and to learn what a marvel IT in Shell is, go to:

Managing IT Transformation on a Global Scale

I suggest you do not read the article on a full stomach.

RELATED POSTINGS

It is only a few years since Matula’s tanks came rolling back into Business IT areas from which they had been expelled a decade earlier…

Adventures in Shell ‘Matulaland’: 11 June 2010

Most adventures in ‘Matulaland’ run years late and some never work at all…

More results on how Mr. Matula’s outsourcing is working. Total chaos.

GSAP/GMPR: THE MARCH OF THE DINOSAURS 16 Jan 2011

How much longer will Shell CIO Alan Matula last?: 18 November 2009

IT OFFSHORING: AFTER THE GOLDRUSH: 14 November 2009

SHELL IT ‘IDENTITY CRISIS’: 8 November 2009

Extract:

But another factor may be that GSAP was a pet project of the current CIO Alan Matula during his Downstream days. Mr Matula has a fondness for IT ‘spectaculars’, vast schemes in which everything changes at once and nothing ever has any track record. Mr Matula is also something of a Dick Fuld, a man with whom disagreement is unproductive. So GSAP blunders on.

If Peter Voser wants to save some money, he might just lean across the boardroom table and ask his CIO (Alan Matula) a few questions about IT. Why are IT costs so high? Where are the promised savings from Offshoring?

Shell IT outsourcing to AT&T, T-SYS and EDS becoming the mother of all skeletons in the cupboard: 4 November 2009

MR MATULA IS INVITED TO REPLY. ANY REBUTTAL SUPPLIED WILL BE POSTED HERE ON AN UNEDITED BASIS.

Any Matula supporters, please let us have your comments? We only received one message of support for Malcolm Brinded. It can be summarized as saying he wasn’t THAT bad..

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