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Shell spokesman says assertions of “pure speculation”

AFP: The new boss of Shell Peter Voser prints its mark without dragging

LONDON – Without even waiting for his taking office, the new boss of oil giant Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, Peter Voser, left his mark Wednesday by reorganizing the structure of the group, while being careful to quantify the impact both financially and socially.

Peter Voser, a young fifties (he has blown its fifty candles in August) of Swiss nationality, succeeded the Dutch Jeroen van der Veer, born in 1947, orders for five years and is the main weapon was the Regulation scandal overstatement of oil reserves, which had strongly affected the reputation of the oil giant.

Mr. Voser, Chief Financial Officer since October 2004, was chosen last fall to succeed him as Director General, at the expense of two other internal candidates, Malcolm Brinded and Linda Cook, respectively branches “exploration and production” and gas and energy group, which concentrates most of its activities in the upstream.

Without even waiting for his inauguration, scheduled for July 1st, the new chief has reviewed in depth the structure of his staff, merging several divisions and creating a new reorganization unveiled at a seminar bringing together senior executives of the group in Berlin.

Major initiative, the three existing divisions will be merged upstream into two new, “Upstream Americas” and “Upstream International. The final will be led by Malcolm Brinded, who will recover the majority of the functions of Linda Cook.

Objective: to simplify the organizational structure, “accelerate” the decision-making and clarify responsibilities. And, incidentally, reduce “overhead and costs,” Voser said.

All these changes will take effect on July 1st, coinciding with his taking office.

This in-depth reorganization was expected since the announcement Tuesday of the resignation of Linda Cook. Analysts had seen a prelude to such a stir, which recalls the initiatives taken in recent years by several competing groups like Total or Chevron.

The skipper of the British oil giant BP, Tony Hayward, had himself launched a reorganization of magnitude upon his arrival in 2007, eliminating thousands of positions in the hierarchy of the group.

Shell has given no figures on the expected savings, and also kept mouth sewn about the job cuts that inevitably arise.

Tuesday, site, hosted by former employees against the direction of the oil company, had argued on the basis of internal sources as the new boss of Shell would cut a third of senior management positions.

“The changes we have announced will have a huge impact on our organization”, was enough to ensure Peter Voser, promising a decision-making process “accelerated” and a greater awareness of personal liability of members of the state – major, while shareholders have imposed a reprimand in last week rejecting their annual remuneration report.

“Inevitably, there will be fewer jobs, but Shell did not set a goal in the subject, provided his side a spokesman for the group to AFP, calling the assertions of “pure speculation”.




(© AFP / 27 May 2009 14h23)

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