CNN: Shell may hire Harvey Pitt
March 15, 2004: 7:13 AM EST
Under scrutiny by regulators for overstating reserves, oil firm may hire former SEC chairman.
LONDON (Reuters) - Troubled oil and gas firm Royal Dutch/Shell is exploring hiring Harvey Pitt, the former top U.S. financial regulator, as a consultant, according to a published report Monday.
Talks between Shell and Pitt, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, were at a preliminary stage, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the discussions.
The SEC is investigating Royal Dutch/Shell for overstating its reserves by 20 percent.
The reserve debacle has already cost the jobs of the company's chairman and its head of oil and gas and sent the Anglo-Dutch group's shares tumbling.
Citing people close to the board, the Financial Times also reported that some of Shell's (RD: Research, Estimates) board members were pressing for further resignations among top executives who may have known of doubts about the reserves before the announcement.
The 170-year old company is set to face a second week of investor anger and media attention as it prepares to publish its annual report Friday.