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Jeroen van der Veer pumping jargon but not profits

The Times: Pumping jargon but not profits

“…there is even a new mantra, Enterprise First, with which to goad the staff into “top-quartile performance”.”

By Carl Mortished

Posted 24 September 2004

“WE WILL strive to make Shell a different company,” Jeroen van der Veer, Shell’s chairman told the City yesterday. He promised better leadership, more accountability and teamwork and there is even a new mantra, Enterprise First, with which to goad the staff into “top-quartile performance”.

Little was said about how the hole revealed in January is to be filled. The biggest offender in the reserves debacle was Nigeria but precious little was said yesterday about how those barrels are to be recovered.

Shell may be right about the high oil price. But there was a time when Shell was respected for being predictable, even dull. Instead of the navel-gazing Enterprise First, investors have suggested that the oil giant’s new catchphrase should be: “dividends first”.

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