FROM OUR NOVEMBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE
How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal
Paddy Briggs, a retired Shell communications executive, recalls one event where he and about 40 executives were issued shovels and pick-axes and dispatched to a Dutch village to help it restore an old playground. The oilmen gave up around lunchtime amid heavy rain. Such gimmicks became the butt of jokes, “but nobody said, ‘Hey, have we lost our minds here?’ “says Mr. Briggs.
As New-Age Style Came In,
Geology Skills Lost Out;
Imitating Jerry Springer
Oilmen at a Rainy Playground
By CHIP CUMMINS and ALMAR LATOUR
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
November 2, 2004; Page A1
In late 2000, the head of the Dutch exploration unit at Royal Dutch/Shell Group asked his planners to deliver five-minute skits pitching ideas for discovering oil and gas.
In one skit, a naked employee ran on stage to catch the boss’s attention, say two people who attended. Another featured a mock episode of the Jerry Springer show, the incendiary daytime TV talk program. A third, after a bit of fun and games, promised to extract large quantities of natural gas cheaply from seemingly declining Dutch fields.