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Posts under ‘Sir Philip Watts’

Scandal hit bosses of HSBC and Shell are both ordained priests!

By John Donovan I wonder if Paddy was thinking of Shell when he published this on this Facebook page? The grotesquely high “compensation packages” of the Directors of the likes of HSBC as well as being morally repugnant are also bad for business. The rewards for making it to the top are so obscene that […]

SEC continuing to scrutinise Shell’s claimed oil reserves

By John Donovan A letter emailed to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, on 23 Oct 2014, from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, asked why Shell had omitted to supply in a Form 20-F filing, figures for Shell’s share of Kashagan proved undeveloped reserves. Shell’s partners in the much troubled Kashagan oil […]

CEO Ben van Beurden too honest to sign Shell’s Business Principles?

By John Donovan It is a year since Peter Voser left his job as Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc to allegedly spend more time with his family. Soon after his surprise early exit, Shell announced a profits warning.  Leaving that contentious issue to one side, I am puzzled that his replacement Ben van […]

Tesco overstatement debacle reminiscent of Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal

By John Donovan Tesco admits a £250m mistake in half-year profit calculations Tesco share value has plummeted after the supermarket giant announced this morning that it had overstated its half-year profit guidance by £250m. Four senior Tesco executives, including a managing director, have been suspended. In view of what happened to Shell when it overstated its hydrocarbon […]

John Alfred Donovan, Founder, Owner and Group Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

3 July 2014 By John Donovan Interesting to note that my association with Royal Dutch Shell is so strong after a three decade relationship, that according to current information listed on zoom info (screenshot below), I am credited as being the founder, owner and Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Guess it was only a […]

Little known key role of Michiel Brandjes in Shell reserves scandal

However, unbeknown to Van de Vijver, Michiel Brandjes (right), who was alarmed by the findings of the report, sent a copy to a New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore. This meant that events were no longer in the control of Shell. Instead, Shell’s most sensitive issue since its close association with Adolf Hitler […]

Ben van Beurden: Surely Shell could have chosen a leader untainted by scandal?

Ben van Beurden was private assistant and adviser to Sir Philip Watts during the two years prior to the shock announcement of the reserves scandal in January 2004, which resulted in a firestorm of devastating news coverage that still reverberates today, 10 years later. This was during the period when false information was routinely given to […]

Ben van Beurden will need more than PR skills to navigate Shell’s choppy seas

Ben van Beurden gave a flawless performance last week as he stepped onto the public stage for the first time as chief executive of Shell and sought to explain how the company had cut its annual profits in half despite a year of sky-high oil prices. He should have been torn limb from limb, but […]

Royal Dutch Shell leadership: Bring back Sir Henri Deterding

If only it was possible to resurrect Sir Henri Deterding at his best, the extraordinary Dutchman who built the Royal Dutch Shell Group. In his first couple of decades at Shell he was a brilliant decisive leader brimming with ambition, ideas and incredible determination. He would have acted to exploit BP’s self-inflicted misfortunes, whereas Van […]

Energy giants battle to pump profits

At 55, Van Beurden, who replaced Peter Voser earlier this month, is a 30-year veteran at Shell where his career has mainly been focused on managing downstream businesses such as refining and chemicals. This week, as he announces full-year earnings, City analysts expect him to unveil details of a potential $15bn to $30bn (£9.1bn to […]

CFO Simon Henry: Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, beset by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.” He […]


Since Royal Dutch Shell has apparently forgotten to mark the tenth anniversary of news breaking on 10 January 2004, that Shell had cooked its books by wildly inflating its claimed oil and gas reserves, it seems appropriate for me to do so on Shell’s behalf. The then Shell Group chairman, Sir Philip Watts was forced […]

Shell CEO Peter Voser: Did he jump or was he pushed?

Why would the issue of payment for loss of office even arise? Perhaps I am wrong but I am left with the impression that his early departure was by mutual consent and on the basis of no compensation for loss of office? In other words the board wanted him to leave early and he agreed? […]

Shell ‘is getting far too Dutch’

A senior executive at a leading City institution, who asked not to be named, said British investors were not being treated on a par with their Dutch counterparts. He said this was symptomatic of a trend that has seen the company increasingly consolidating power in The Hague and forgetting its British heritage. The oil giant […]

Shell: New Boss required but limited choices

As for Commander Odum, he of the theatre of Operations, only a marine incident etc school he was doomed not by the grounding of the good ship Kulluk, but in the lie telling that followed.  It was not I fear just poor Lawrence of Alaska who suffered from this misadventure.  COMMENT RECEIVED FROM BILL CAMPBELL, […]

Shell’s new CEO reinforces gas technology focus

 …van Beurden is from the downstream part of the business which wrested control from the upstream oil and gas division in the aftermath of Shell’s reserves accounting crisis of 2003/2004. A chemical engineering graduate, van Beurden had a front seat for the crisis, in which the company was forced to downgrade its oil and gas […]

In the new Shell to lie is acceptable unless your found out

The crisis in my book, and we are far from the endpoint in this, is that RDS officials lied in that the decision to move Kulluk was not related to tax avoidance when it was.  Perhaps that is why the RDS CEO has taken a closer interest in his family and the sustainability of his […]

Shell under the skin, 10 years after crisis

For years, the independent investigation by law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell showed, executives had exchanged emails about “lying” and “fooling the market”. The would-be whistleblower, Van de Vijver, wrote in December 2003 that a report on the real reserves position “needs to be destroyed”. By Andrew Callus LONDON | Wed May 29, 2013 7:31pm […]

Ruthless and bad behaviour at the top of Royal Dutch Shell

The foot soldiers, of whom I was one in Shell, often took their leads from what they saw as ruthless and bad behaviour at the top – and, unsurprisingly, sometimes behaved badly themselves. (Disgraced Shell Chairman Sir Philip Watts shown right) Article by retired Royal Dutch Shell executive Paddy Briggs. I received my first monthly […]


With regard to your most obvious rivals, Simon Henry seems to be a very intelligent, competent executive, but comes with the baggage of his starring role in the reserves scandal. I published our verdict. Based on my strange experience of communicating with Marvin Odum via RDS Plc Company Secretary Michiel Brandjes, I reached the conclusion […]

Briton tipped to run Shell for first time in a decade as Voser steps down into retirement

Chief financial officer Simon Henry was made the front-runner by bookmaker Paddy Power, despite saying it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss his candidacy. The Anglo-Dutch firm has not had a British boss since Sir Philip Watts left in disgrace in 2004 after Shell overstated its oil reserves. By Rob Davies: PUBLISHED: 22:14, 2 May 2013 […]

Shell Lent Former Directors $12M For Reserves Fraud Legal Costs In 2004

By John Donovan: As can be verified from page 81 of the Shell Form 20F 2004 filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission and a related Wall Street Journal article, Shell lent the fraudsters responsible for the reserves scandal $12 million to cover litigation costs. Almost a decade later, I have not seen any […]

Shell buys Brinded’s silence in golden good riddance

In addition to the £2.9m for his Netherlands home, “Brinded, 60 tomorrow, pocketed £2.7 in salary and severance for the four months he worked last year. He also walked away with £9.7m in shares and a £19m pension pot.” So, with wonderful timing, Brinded received a package worth £34.3 million as a spectacular birthday present. […]

Verdict on Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry

Shell internal email correspondence irrefutably proves that Simon Henry was aware in March 2002 that “reserves bookings were made that should not have been made”. Walter van de Vijver, the “sick and tired” Chief Executive of Shell EP, gave the information directly to him. As can be seen in the email, Walter van de Vijver aggressively […]

Shell reserves fraudster Rev Sir Philip Watts

By John Donovan An article published today by the Maidenhead Advertiser says the Rev Sir Philip Watts is taking up a new position as Priest in Charge of the Benefice of Waltham St Lawrence. He is still protesting his innocence in relation to the Shell reserves fraud and cover-up that resulted in him being forced […]

A word in your Shell-like

FROM OUR FEBRUARY 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE: “…we learned last year that the company leadership had been systematically lying to itself, its shareholders and wider stakeholders about the size of its oil reserves.”: “for years Shell lied about its sustainability as a business while preaching principles that it was betraying.”: “Shell had knowingly overstated its […]

Desperation led to Shell’s plotting to exploit 9/11 attacks

BUILD UP TO SHELL RESERVES SCANDAL: Comments by leading Shell execs: “…the market will want to know whose head is going to roll for what they will see as blatant deception.”; “this is potential dynamite for management credibility and the share price”; “…how you have to break the detail of this news in September, assuming […]

9/11 Terror Attack and the Shell Reserves Scandal

By John Donovan On Friday we published an article revealing Shell internal email correspondence, which provided proof that three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the USA, Shell executives were considering how Shell could exploit the horrific event for commercial reasons. As can be seen from the correspondence, the objective was to “buy us […]

Shell big investors in a revolutionary mood

Shell News, this day, 9 years ago: Shell investors were still in a state of shock over the dramatic disclosure that Shell had vastly overstated its proven oil and gas reserves. The main villain, the fraudster, Sir Philip Watts, was still Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman. Lord Oxburgh was still backing him. Daily Mail: Rebels […]

Simon Henry and the reserves time bomb

Were they aware that Simon Henry was a key player, as Head of Global Investor Relations, in dealing with the reserves data and actually had responsibility to ensure the quality/accuracy of the data before it was disclosed to analysts and investors? As we all know, it turned out that some of the data was not […]

Short list of praiseworthy senior Royal Dutch Shell executives

Now we have his equally scandal tainted successor, Peter Voser, Chairman of the UBS Audit Committee at the time when UBS was engaged in all kinds of criminal activity. Posting on Shell Blog by LondonLad on Jan 17th, 2013 at 19:56 In all honesty can the Donovan’s kindly list some of the past and present […]

Candid testimony of Simon Henry about disgraced Shell EP Boss Walter van de Vijver

As can be seen in his testimony, Simon Henry deliberately limited the amount of time that Walter van de Vijver spent with UK and US investors, almost as if there was something to hide? Wonder what current Shell investors will make of that revelation? An insight into how Mr Henry thinks shareholders can be manipulated […]

Candid testimony of Shell’s Simon Henry about Sir Philip Watts

Q: Do you like Mr. Watts personally? A: It was difficult to like Phil.  He was not a guy you go for a beer with. …he was still running with that chip on his shoulder… He was a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. Candid (some might say indiscreet) testimony of Simon Henry […]

Devastatingly bad news day for Shell 9 years ago: 10 Jan 2004

9th anniversary of a devastatingly bad news day for Shell and its shareholders exactly 9 years ago: 10 Jan 2004. How Shell blew a hole in a 100-year reputation. News of reserves fraud wipes 7.5% off shares, £8bn from value of oil giant. The Times: How Shell blew a hole in a 100-year reputation The […]

Reputational damage to Peter Voser

By John Donovan The mainstream news media is reporting that the reputational damage to Peter Voser and the Shell board arising from the Arctic meltdown is huge. The fact that Shell’s leadership is hopelessly incompetent comes as no surprise to us. No competent board with an ounce of commercial commonsense would allow this website to […]

Prophetic 2004 photograph of Shell Group Chairman Sir Philip Watts

Prophetic 2004 photograph of  the then Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman and fraudster Sir Philip Watts (above) from a Sunday Telegraph article published on 18 January 2004 days after the Shell reserves scandal made news headlines around the world. Right, a photograph from 2012, also of Sir Philip, but rematerialized this time as the Rev. […]


“With regards to the reserves fraud, Mr Finlayson was either part of the cover-up, or negligent in his fiduciary duties as a senior Shell executive, supposedly protecting the interests of investors”; “That should be of great concern to investors in BG Group. Surely the company could have found a new CEO untainted by scandal?” John […]

Jeroen van der Veer exit from Shell

I am only surprised that an ex CEO of Shell leaves the board at a young age. Is Jeroen washing his hands in innocence or trying to put light between him and Shell?? In the past they used to hang in there for long periods until they had to get up too often to take […]


By John Donovan Shell has for many years supposedly operated within an ethical code which, according to its current webpage on the subject, was first published in 1976. This does not tally with the relevant pages in “A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Volume 3,” about the history of the code – known in […]

The Neptune Strategy: Shell Propped up Apartheid in South Africa

By John Donovan In 1987, Shell Oil Co implemented a secret 265 page plan devised by a Washington based firm, Pagan International. The devious plan was designed to undermine support for critics of Shell’s policy of propping up the despised racist apartheid regime in South Africa, just as Shell and its Nazi leader, Sir Henri […]