Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image the ethical malaise at the top of Shell

By Alfred Donovan
26 July 2006
As a result of operating our Shell focused websites we have made contact with many Shell insiders and other individuals and organisations having an interest in Shell.  As far as I know, we are all agreed on one aspect. The vast majority of Shell employees are decent hard working people who are entitled to the greatest respect. The problem is that a few disreputable individuals wheedled their way to the very top of Shell.  They have been described as “bandits” by one Shell insider. Their actions have unfortunately stained the reputation of the Shell brand.  Some have departed. A few executives, like a bad smell, linger on – due purely to the huge profits generated by the one factor outside of their bungling control – the record high price of oil.
The reserves fraud was one manifestation of the ethical malaise at the top of Shell. The Brent scandal is another.
A number of excellent articles have already been published in relation to this latest debacle revealing details of falsified documents and cover-up, with one Shell executive, Malcolm Brinded, turning his customary blind eye to serious misdeeds.
I will not go into any detailed analysis regarding the Brent tragedy. I will leave that to experts such as Bill Campbell, a much respected former senior Shell Group Auditor of the highest ethical standing. 
I would however like to provide an overview of the board room culture of Shell which has allowed yet another scandal to damage Shell’s once proud reputation. A culture where directors have been prepared to cook the books and have whistleblowers (Dr John Huong) and campaigners (the “Rossport Five”), terrorised and thrown in jail. Shell’s reputation has been ruined due to the rapacious greed, arrogance and aggressive tactics of some Shell executives.

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