More details are expected from oil giant Shell this week on its job-cut plans, though it is still unclear what the impact will be on the 2,000-plus people working from Aberdeen.
It was reported yesterday that the British-Dutch company would reveal on Thursday that up to 25% of senior management – 500-600 people globally – will lose their posts in the coming weeks.
New chief executive Peter Voser is said to have already eliminated about a quarter of 80 of the top-level management positions immediately below Shell’s executive committee. The next round of departures, anticipated to be outlined as part of its second-quarter results on Thursday, will involve the layer of managerial positions below this.
One newspaper claimed that the largest number of these redundancies were expected to be in The Hague, where 2,000 people work at Shell’s global headquarters. Further cuts at lower levels are anticipated in the months ahead.
Analysts expect that about 10,000 of Shell’s worldwide workforce of 102,000 are likely to go under the major restructuring.
Shell has 8,500 employees in the UK. A spokeswoman for the company said yesterday it had no comment to make on its job-cut plans.
One Aberdeen employee said: “Everyone knows that jobs are likely to go here, but I have heard nothing from the company on this. We will just have to wait and see what Thursday brings.”
At the end of May, the Press and Journal reported that Scottish employees of Shell may have to wait months before finding out if their jobs are at risk.
A spokeswoman said at the time that staff would know by the end of the year what the impact on them would be.
The company said in May that its core exploration and production business would be divided into two units: one covering the Americas and the other the rest of the world. The former would be called upstream Americas and the latter upstream international. The new divisions would also take responsibility for liquefied natural gas and power operations in their spheres.
Gas and power was previously a separate unit under the US head of Shell’s gas and power business, Linda Cook, an unsuccessful candidate for the oil giant’s chief executive post, who quit.
Malcolm Brinded, a former managing director of Shell Expro in Aberdeen and who also lost out on the top job, is now executive director of upstream international.
Robin West, the chairman and founder of Washington-based industry consultancy PFC Energy, was quoted yesterday as saying that Mr Voser was confronting deep-seated cultural issues in the company that no executive had dared to address in the 102 years since it was formed by merger. Mr West said: “It has become very clear very quickly that he is going to run Shell; Shell isn’t going to run him, and that’s a very profound change. Decisions will be made more quickly and there will be a higher level of accountability.
“He is going to continue to cut costs dramatically. Some parts of Shell seem to have operated more for the benefit of the people in the organisation rather than for the shareholders. He is going to cut down a lot of that.”