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Intercepting job applications and business proposals meant for Shell

By John Donovan

The following comment was posted on the “Live Chat” facility of on 23 October 2007

Guest 640: Mr Donovan you falsely claim to be intercepting job applications and business proposals meant for Shell. I know as a Shell employee that this would be a breach of privacy laws and we would have obtained an immediate injunction to stop you. We all know that you would say or publish anything to embarrass us. When you make FALSE claims you destroy your credibility.

The comments relate to the article “The Internet humiliation of Royal Dutch Shell Plc”

This is our response.

Guest 640, if you work for Shell you know the email address for your Company Secretary Michiel Brandjes. He is currently on leave but I suggest that you contact him when he returns to his office on 12 November. He will be able to confirm that we do indeed pass on job applications (some with CV’s), business proposals and other email meant for Shell which is sent to our website in error. We have also corresponded with one such party at the express written request of Mr Brandjes. We sent emails to him yesterday and received an automated response indicating he is on leave. We later received the following email from Shell EP General Counsel, Keith Ruddock.


Dear Mr Donovan

Thank you for forwarding this and the other six emails received today from this company for which I acknowledge receipt in Mr Brandjes’s absence.

Yours sincerely
Keith Ruddock

Keith Ruddock
General Counsel Exploration and Production
Shell International B.V.
The Hague, The Netherlands – Trade Register no. 27155369
Address: c/o Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands


So although you may find the situation to be incredible, it is absolutely true.

As to your allegation that we will say or publish anything to embarrass Shell, this again is unfounded. Serious allegations of a personal nature against a current member of the Royal Dutch Shell Executive Committee were received by us a couple of months ago. We decided against publication.

When we deem it appropriate, we send draft articles in advance to Shell senior lawyers (copied to Jeroen van der Veer and other Royal Dutch Shell PLc directors) and give Shell the opportunity to correct any factual inaccuracies. We bend over backwards to be fair to Shell. After sending a draft article recently to Mr Brandjes he asked us in a polite and reasonable manner not to publish it. We complied with his request. The reason for the request and our decision to comply are confidential. There were no threats from Shell.

We act in a responsible way not in the unethical and reckless manner you suggest.

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