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Shell Slashes Jobs in Offshore Wind, Because Who Needs Clean Energy Anyway?

According to some sneaky insiders who prefer to remain anonymous (probably to keep their jobs), the British oil giant will start swinging the axe within months, mostly targeting European employees.

Posted by John Donovan: 29 May

Shell Plans to Axe Offshore Wind Jobs as CEO Sawan Doubles Down on Oil Profits

In a move that’s sure to surprise absolutely no one, Shell Plc is gearing up to lay off staff from its offshore wind division. Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan, who seems to think that renewable energy is just a passing fad, is steering the company away from the costly business of saving the planet.

According to some sneaky insiders who prefer to remain anonymous (probably to keep their jobs), the British oil giant will start swinging the axe within months, mostly targeting European employees.

A Shell spokesperson, in the usual corporate speak, said, “We are concentrating on select markets and segments to deliver the most value for our investors and customers.” Translation: “We’re ditching this whole wind thing because it’s eating into our precious profits.”

Shell had been throwing money at offshore wind, hoping to use its sea-drilling know-how to lead in this newfangled technology. But with costs climbing and Sawan’s laser focus on shareholder returns, the company is now backing away from this clean-energy business. Because who cares about the environment when there are dividends to pay?

Since Sawan took the helm last year, he’s been cracking the whip on business divisions to boost performance and profitability. Back in June 2023, he laid out a grand plan to slash “structural costs” by up to $3 billion by the end of 2025. The upcoming cuts to offshore wind are just the latest in a series of layoffs, including earlier cuts to the low-carbon solutions unit. Because why stop at just one form of greenwashing?

Shell had assembled a crack team in the Netherlands to build offshore wind farms, but with budget cuts, this team is now left twiddling their thumbs. It turns out, when you stop spending money, there’s not much left to do.

The job cuts follow the exodus of several key executives in the offshore wind sector, like Thomas Brostrom, the head of its European renewable power division, and Melissa Read, the head of its UK offshore wind unit. They probably saw the writing on the wall and bailed before things got worse.

So, in summary: Shell is proving once again that profits trump the planet. As they shift away from offshore wind, it’s clear their commitment to renewable energy was about as deep as an oil slick.

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