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Short-termism at Royal Dutch Shell

There is a culpable short-termism about Shell at the moment. But we have seen it all before.


There is a culpable short-termism about Shell at the moment. But we have seen it all before.

It is mind-blowing that one of the world’s largest corporations cannot:

(a) Decide what its strategy is

(b) Use its huge resources to stick with that strategy over the medium to long term.

I would humbly suggest:

(1) Concentrate exclusively on upstream and midstream oil and gas.

(2) Get rid of activities that fall outside the competances of those at the top (Refining and Marketing especially).

(3) Don’t kill the downstream with a thousand cuts – sell it as a going concern (which it is). There will be plenty of willing buyers.

(4) Get out of petrochemicals – again plenty of willing buyers.

(5) Consolidate to one Head Office. Close Shell Centre.

(6) Look for good upstream acquisitions.

(7) Really learn from the failures in Nigeria, Ireland and Russia… Get out of delusional mode. Try always telling the truth!

(8) Never, ever again make the same mistake that you made with Linda Cook. It’s a scandalous story which the shareholders ought to tear the Board to pieces about.

(9) Create a culture at the top which is less about Lottery-win type rewards (Cook again!) and more about pride in achievement. Shell was like that once. Is Voser really worth ten times what M M-S was paid? I doubt it…

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