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The buck stops on the boss’s desk

The Guardian (UK): The buck stops on the boss’s desk

“Let us ignore the damage done to his reputation a) by the very fact that Shell had about a quarter less oil in the ground than it had been claiming and b) by that email in which Shell’s exploration chief told Sir Phil he was “sick and tired” of the lying over the reserves.”: “Frankly, the extraordinarily arrogant Sir Phil should consider himself lucky still to have his knighthood.”

Wednesday September 14, 2005

Sir Phil was to blame for scandal

Sir Phil Watts, the former chairman of Shell, will probably go to his grave mumbling that the reserves scandal of 2004 which wiped billions off the value of the company had absolutely nothing to do with him.

Yesterday he lost an FSA tribunal case where he argued that he had been denied his right to reply when the financial regulator censured Shell for engaging in “unprecedented misconduct” and fined it a record £17m.

The censure did not name Watts, but the former Shell boss, who was forced to resign after the scandal, argued that it was an attack on his leadership, that the FSA allowed him to be identified in the media and damaged his reputation.

Let us ignore the damage done to his reputation a) by the very fact that Shell had about a quarter less oil in the ground than it had been claiming and b) by that email in which Shell’s exploration chief told Sir Phil he was “sick and tired” of the lying over the reserves.

The fact is that as chairman the buck stopped on Sir Philip’s desk. Responsibility goes with leadership. The big pay packages for such roles are linked to taking that responsibility. The FSA’s decision is a clear victory for common sense.

Frankly, the extraordinarily arrogant Sir Phil should consider himself lucky still to have his knighthood.

SOURCE

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