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Shell Exploration & Production Chief, Malcolm Brinded under fire says The Observer Shell Exploration & Production Chief, Malcolm Brinded OBE under fire says The Observer

Sunday 26 June 2005

By Editor

John Donovan

In an article headed” Exploration chief under fire in new-look Shell”, the Observer reports that “One leading investor said: ‘One area where people are looking closely and thinking about change is that they are getting fed up with Brinded.’ According to the article his “concerns were echoed by some analysts”

In another Observer article headlined “Shell: still too sure of itself?”, an investor is quoted as saying: ‘There are management questions here. Malcolm Brinded [head of E&P] was seen as a steady hand last year, but Oman and the speed of development elsewhere has led to muttering about him.’

Malcolm Brinded has been presented in the media as being a senior member of the NEW management team at Shell, fresh to the EP division. This is a major misconception. The following is a quote from a Shell internal email sent by Malcolm Brinded on 4 March 2004 to EPA staff on the day he became Group EP COE, after Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman, Sir Phillip Watts, and EP CEO, Walter van de Vijver, were forced to resign.

“Let me say here how sad I am at today’s events, and how much I respect what Phil and Walter gave to the Group. I know Walter’s departure as EP CEO will be sorely felt in EP, and I will miss his presence in Shell as a deeply committed colleague and friend. I worked in EP from 1974 to 2001, and I’m now very proud to have the opportunity to work with you all to make EP the success that it can be.”

This information came as no surprise to me as I corresponded with Malcolm Brinded while he was still an E&P Managing Director. I first met Malcolm when he strolled over and shook me warmly by the hand, introducing himself to me at the Shell Transport AGM in 1999, after he had become Country Chairman of Shell UK Limited. He struck me at the time as being completely out of his depth. I noticed that he was being propelled around the AGM by Shell Legal Director/Svengali, Richard Wiseman.

Mr Brinded is a named Defendant in at least one of the US class action law suits because he signed a form F20 submission to the Securities & Exchange Commission which later turned out to contain false information on Shell’s reserves.

It strikes me as being a case of another Shell bureaucrat of questionable reputation who has arisen far above his capabilities – the wrong man at the wrong time.

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