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Mr No-nonsense leads at Regal (An example of spin by the Financial Times)

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Mr No-nonsense leads at Regal

Published: June 25 2008 03:00 | Last updated: June 25 2008 03:00

David Greer knows about bad publicity. As deputy chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell’s Sakhalin arm, running the Sakhalin-2 project off the far-east coast of Russia, he suffered the indignity of having an internal memo, which was designed to motivate his managers – “lead me, follow me, or get out of my way” – leaked to the Financial Times last year.

So it is fitting that he is now in charge of one of the more unlikely corporate turnround stories at Regal Petroleum, which is no stranger to unfavourable headlines thanks to wrangles with ousted founder and 14 per cent investor Frank Timis.

The results so far have been hard to ignore. Regal has interesting gas reserves in Ukraine, and under Mr Greer it raised $165m (£83m) in a placing in February to develop them. The shares are up 92 per cent this year.

Mr Greer’s no-nonsense style was what Regal needed to start stabilising its reputation. When stories about him appeared in this paper, the website was sent supportive remarks from many colleagues.

One wrote: “I, having worked for the company, can attest to how much of a good leader he is. One of those larger-than-life characters. Boundless energy, charismatic, with a firm hand, brutally frank, highly committed and puts the people’s welfare first.”

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