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Shell’s Cost-Cutting Extravaganza: Because Who Needs Jobs in a Low-Carbon Division Anyway?

Posted by John Donovan: 21 Dec 2023

In a dazzling display of corporate acrobatics, Shell Plc is now playing a thrilling game of ‘musical chairs’ with its employees’ jobs. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan, Shell is not just trimming the fat; they’re going full keto on their workforce.

Sawan, who apparently moonlights as a ruthless efficiency wizard, is gallantly leading the charge to make Shell as lean as a starved chameleon, blending seamlessly with U.S. rivals in the corporate jungle. The plan? Wave goodbye to more jobs.

The method is simple and elegant: eliminate roles division-by-division, serving up a smorgasbord of redundancy packages, or the chance to play job roulette elsewhere in the company. Shell, in a stroke of modesty, declines to comment on the number of jobs at stake. After all, who’s counting when you’re on a mission to slash “structural costs” by a cool $3 billion by the end of 2025?

In an email that practically hums with enthusiasm, Shell declares, “Achieving those reductions will require portfolio high grading, new efficiencies, and a leaner overall organization.” Translation: It’s time to play corporate Jenga, where pulling out the wrong block might just topple your career.

Sawan, in a moment of inspirational candor, vowed to be “ruthless” in improving Shell’s performance. Because nothing says ‘corporate responsibility’ like a little ruthlessness, especially when you’re hustling to keep up with Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. And what better way to chase those stock market rainbows than by offloading assets and cutting back on those pesky low-return investments in clean energy?

As of the end of 2022, Shell had about 93,000 people on its payroll, more than double Chevron’s despite being worth 34% less. But hey, who needs numbers when you’re on a cost-cutting spree? Especially when you’re axing about 15% of your workforce in the Low Carbon Solutions unit, because who needs low-carbon solutions in a climate crisis, right?

So, hats off to Shell for its commitment to ‘right-sizing’ activities that deliver the ‘most value’. After all, in the grand game of corporate chess, sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice a few pawns to protect the king. And let’s not forget our responsibility to accuracy in reporting Shell’s global escapades – because if you can’t trust a multinational oil giant to look after the planet, who can you trust?

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