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An email to Shell/Motiva Vice President, Tom Purves

Dear Mr Purves

I am writing to you in your capacity as Shell/Motiva Regional Vice President for Downstream Manufacturing on The Gulf Coast.

I am sure you must be aware that you are a constant source of controversy and debate on our website with all manner of allegations concerning your alleged misconduct and alleged lack of ethics. The number of postings over the last 24 hours in particular is extraordinary.  No other Shell executive from anywhere in the world attracts as many unfavorable posts on our site.

Apart from the postings, I am also in correspondence with a number of individuals, all united in opposition to you and your alleged management style. These people appear sincere, well-informed, well-educated and motivated by a genuine sense of grievance and deep concern.

At the moment, the Tom Purves debate is taking place without the key player making an appearance (unless you authored the comments posted under the pseudonym”Uncle Tom”). Please send me by email any comments you may wish to make from time to time. These would be published unedited. You are entitled to defend yourself and your reputation, which is obviously taking a daily hammering. I make this offer in the knowledge that Royal Dutch Shell senior management visit and monitor postings. Under the circumstances, I am sure you will not want the flood of serious allegations about you to go unanswered.

Please also be aware that more detailed allegations are in the pipeline and will be published when the timing is appropriate for our sources. Additionally it has been expressed to me that an escalated approach will be taken to further enlighten senior leadership as to your alleged activities.  Some may claim whistleblower status in respect of alleged safety violations.  A brief sampling of the more prominent allegations that have surfaced on our site are detailed immediately below.

1.  It has been alleged that you personally intervened in lowering Individual Performance Factors on several low level managers at Port Arthur, Convent, and Norco.  This lowering of factors took place after the IPF’s were set and approved by the site manager.  It is further alleged that the lowering of these factors was directly intended to qualify specific individuals for severance under the company “Special Severance Plan”.

2.  It has been alleged that you have personally manipulated sensitive HR processes to ensure that you protect your inner circle.  There have also been specific allegations against Mr Jeffery G. Funkhouser including multiple infractions violating company policy in regards to credit card usage, drunken driving, and violent acts against subordinates.  Another example would be the alleged lack of accountability placed on Forrest Lauher after allowing the CEP project to escalate out of control in cost and schedule.  I understand that you did hold Dan Burt and Juan Jones accountable for the failure of the project while their boss was allowed to slide over to run the base plant.

3.  It has also been alleged that you have repeatedly violated the company code of ethics by openly engaging in “Leadership by Fear” tactics.  A pointed example would be the alleged loyalty questioning of staff by Jeff Funkhouser and yourself immediately following Mr. Monette’s departure from Port Arthur.

The allegations above as I am sure you are aware, are but a sampling of the allegations that have come to light on our site.  Please be assured that our website is at your disposal should you wish to respond.

If you do not defend yourself by taking up this invitation, or by taking legal action, then the people who flock to our site on a daily basis (we received almost 100,000 hits on a single day last week) will draw their own conclusions.

As is our normal practice in correspondence with Shell executives, officials and lawyers, this email and any correspondence that flows from it, will be published in its entirety.

Yours sincerely

John Donovan


Mr Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Mr Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

One Comment

  1. Jo Blow says:

    My My, Interesting turn of events over the last couple days. When I first read this, I was elated at the thought of a response by Mr. Purves, then the stark realization came to me that there is no possible way Mr. Purves will respond. How could he respond? What could he say? How would any response be received? I expect that this is one heck of an Uncomfortable position for Mr. Purves and his inner circle.

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