Royal Dutch/Shell enlists Brunswick amid audit, exits

LONDON: Royal Dutch/Shell hired the Brunswick Group earlier this month to help it deal with the ousting of top executives and an independent audit revealing that it hid oil-reserve shortfalls for years.

LONDON: Royal Dutch/Shell hired the Brunswick Group earlier this month to help it deal with the ousting of top executives and an independent audit revealing that it hid oil-reserve shortfalls for years.

The Brunswick Group is managing the crisis directly for Netherlands-based Shell, said Andy Corrigan, a media relations specialist with the oil giant. Earlier press reports had wrongly speculated that the international PR firm was hired by non-executive Shell directors or by the audit committee.

"Brunswick has recently come on board, but we don't really say much more about what they do," Corrigan said.

The Brunswick Group declined to comment.

London-based Finsbury has handled Shell's financial PR for years, Corrigan said, and also is being consulted during the crisis, which erupted more than three months ago.

On March 3, Shell's chairman, Philip Watts, and his deputy in charge of exploration and production, Walter van de Vijver, resigned under pressure. Shell CFO Judith Boynton resigned last Monday, the same day an independent audit committee announced that the company had deliberately overestimated its barrels by 20%.

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