Financial Times: Unsure of Shell
By Martin Dickson
Published: April 17 2004
Will more heads roll at Royal Dutch/ Shell over its booking of reserves? The company's leaders met yesterday amid suggestions from insiders that they were still split about whether more senior executives needed to go, after the departures in March of Sir Philip Watts, chairman, and Walter van de Vijver, head of exploration.
The onus is certainly on the company to show why responsibility should stop at these two, amid concerns that its internal investigation may be a whitewash and Mr van de Vijver's claim that the committee of managing directors was informed without delay of reserve booking problems.
This suggests more systemic problems that need tackling. Until the company displays a real commitment to fundamental change, the old advertising slogan needs rephrasing: You can't be sure of Shell.