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The Times: A word in your Shell-like — it’s all gibberish 5 JANUARY 2007

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell finalizes planned shake-up 2 JANUARY 2008

CNN: Shell Moves With Multi-Pronged Rejig To Tackle Profit Challenge 31 DEC 07

Daily Mail: Shell to axe 3,200 jobs 31 DECEMBER 2007

Financial Times: Shell looks to outsource about 3,200 IT jobs 31 DEC 2007

The Guardian: Shell to outsource 3,200 IT jobs 31 DECEMBER 2007

The Independent: Shell prepares to cut 3,200 jobs 31 DECEMBER 2007

Manchester Evening News: Fears for Shell 30 DECEMBER 2007

MSN News: Fears for jobs at oil giant Shell 30 DECEMBER 2007


The Sunday Telegraph: Shell plans to outsource 3,600 jobs 30 DECEMBER 2007 Shell May Cut Jobs At Finance Department – Source 24/12/07

Guardian Unlimited: Shell to cut thousands of IT jobs 21 DECEMBER 2007 and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.


  1. #1 Recyclotron
    on Jan 3rd, 2008 at 05:46

    This is the third attempt to outsource the core IT function of Shell in the past 15 years. I worked in that division for 25 years and the first two attempts to do this, back in the 1990’s were both abandoned for good reasons – outsourcing results in short term savings (usually due to initial subsidies provided by the contractor) but in the long term costs escalate. In my experience outsourcing companies cannot create savings large enough to pay for the profits they need to take, and they are very skilful at slowly raising their charges after they have won the contract. Outsourcing also results in lower flexibility of the IT division to help the business develop. As IT is now (wrongly) seen by Shell as a commodity this argument no longer stands. Sadly Shell has always been trailing edge as far as using IT goes, not because of the quality of the IT staff but because of the quality of business management, who in my time tried to stamp out the use of email and ridiculed the Internet as a toy that adolescents play games on.

    As a Shell pensioner I hope the company remains solvent far into the future, but there seems to be an endemic incompetence at the top which has overseen the selling off of valuable assets for peanuts (Billiton and the Cairn field in India spring to mind), fraudulent behaviour (Phil Watts and the missing reserves), failure to take the environment seriously (poor management of the Brent Spar incident and the Sahkalin project which rests on keeping 50 breeding pairs of blue whales alive), and a deterioration in its ability to deal with non-western governments that don’t play “by the rules” i.e. Nigeria and Russia.

    I look back at my time with Shell with mixed feelings. As Jimmy Carr, the British comedian and ex-Shell employee, once said “some very nice people work for Shell”. But it could have been a truly great company and a positive dynamo for the world economy as well as a beacon of good practice, but instead it tried to hang onto the past, and arrogant senior managers made some very bad decisions and as a result it has slowly slid down the FTSE into a danger zone where it has become a take over target.

  2. #2 bernie
    on Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:38

    1. Those 5 fat boys at the top put 17.118.837,- EUR into their pockets in 2006 (annual statement), mind you: this is WITHOUT all the options, this is just the CASH money.
    2. Of course, if you add the other committees to it, you’ll easily end up at 20 million EUR.

    Now they come with “we need to save 500 million”, which is 1,9% (!) of the NET PROFIT in 2006. Of course, they won’t save 500 million: in practice, outsourcing IT costs more than keeping it in house. That’s even aside from the strategic risks associated with outsourcing core IT. But there’s a way around it of course: classify your real costs under different accounts, and you’ll meet the 500 million.

    And if all goes wrong they say “bye bye” with a huge exit bonus. I mean, they even get that Rijkman Groenink, the guy who killed ABN-AMRO bank, on board, and that “left wing” ex-prime minister of The Netherlands who certainly became right wing when it came to pocketing his money. Need I say more? Like Joey Pesci says: “they f*ck you in the ass”.

  3. #3 Peter Lanado
    on Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:08

    Hate to say this, but the fat boys at the top have to ensure their pensions are safe and secure. leaving them with enough to live on, come retirement. Even though, of course, the amount they’ll retire on is more than 99.4% of the worlds working population will every earn in a lifetime; is just one of those things!

    Happened in my industry over 10 years ago. Best thing to do is retrain to something they can’t, with ease, outsource overseas.

    Bit difficult – for the time being at least – to fix a leaky pipe with someone sitting on a comfy chair on a different continent, or produce a freshly made and eatable withing minutes gourmet meal. Sadly though immigration and cheaper incoming labour scupper’s that, eventually.

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