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Shell’s Job Cutting Spree

Shell’s Job Cutting Spree

Posted by John Donovan: 18 Jan 24

In a move that’s less about saving the planet and more about saving pennies, Shell Plc has kicked off a spree of job cuts. And guess what? The low-carbon solutions unit is first in line! Because who needs a greener future when you can have a leaner payroll, right?

Sources spilling the beans to Bloomberg revealed that Shell is on a mission to ‘create more value through simplification and discipline.’ Translation: ‘Let’s chop jobs to boost our bottom line.’ The low-carbon business folks are getting their marching orders first, with the corporate affairs division and project and technology departments soon to join the unemployment queue.

Last year, Shell, in a moment of environmental epiphany, decided to cut 15% of jobs in its Low Carbon Solutions business. It’s like they suddenly realized that green energy ambitions don’t match their oil and gas love affair. The UK-based supermajor told Reuters they’re axing 200 jobs next year in this division and are rethinking the future of another 130 positions. Because why invest in green energy when you can invest in more oil and gas?

In December 2023, Shell had a eureka moment and announced a broader plan for job cuts. A spokesperson said, “Shell aims to create more value with less emissions by focusing on performance, discipline and simplification.” Ah, the old ‘do more with less’ corporate mantra – music to investors’ ears, but a requiem for environmentalists.

Shell is also planning to raise its dividend by 15% because, you know, investors’ pockets matter too. Meanwhile, staff got the grim news this week after the company had a secret Santa meeting in December.

Wael Sawan, Shell’s CEO and self-proclaimed ‘ruthless’ performance improver, is all about boosting those investor returns. He’s eyeing Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., thinking, “If they can have higher valuations without all this green hassle, why can’t we?”

European investors, expecting a green revolution, were met with Shell’s ‘drill baby drill’ strategy. Some are even thinking about ghosting Shell from their portfolios. But Sawan’s stance is clear: cutting global oil and gas production is “dangerous and irresponsible.” Because, apparently, the world still needs its hydrocarbon fix.

With about 93,000 employees, Shell is more than double the size of Chevron, yet somehow trails in market value. To trim down, about 1,800 people are bidding adieu due to the sale of Shell’s retail business to Octopus Energy.

So, as Shell bids farewell to parts of its low-carbon workforce, it’s like watching a soap opera where the green dream is written off to boost the drama of profits and performance. Stay tuned for the next episode of ‘As the Shell Turns.’

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