Shell is moving vice-president of global marketing and communications Raoul Pinnell to a new position in Switzerland as chairman of Shell Brands International AG.
Shell Brands International is a new company, based in Baar, Switzerland, which will oversee Shell’s global brands and trademarks. It will have a board made up of senior Shell managers, chaired by Pinnell, which will report to Royal Dutch/Shell Group.
A Shell spokesman denied the move had anything to do with the recent scandal surrounding Shell’s overstated reserves and says Pinnell’s responsibilities will remain broadly similar. He says: “This is part of Shell’s long-term planning and part of improving the way the Shell brand is managed.”
Shell vice-president global external affairs Mary Jo Jacobi has overseen its public relations during the recent debacle, whereas Pinnell has been responsible for marketing communications.
Pinnell was appointed as vice-president of global brand and communications in 1997, and consolidated Shell’s global advertising from 35 advertising agencies into J Walter Thompson. His appointment followed Shell’s vilification in the Nineties following the decision to dump the Brent Spar platform in the North Sea and its failure to step in and help prevent the execution of Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa for criticising Shell’s activity.
Shell has lost its three most senior executives in recent months after it transpired that the company overstated its reserves by 23 per cent and then tried to conceal the fact from investors.