London base for Shell merged PR operations

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group is to combine its UK, International and Netherlands PR departments as part of a shake-up of its European business, announced last week.

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group is to combine its UK, International and

Netherlands PR departments as part of a shake-up of its European

business, announced last week.



The three departments currently employ 100 staff between them. It is not

clear whether the move will involve redundancies or where staff will

relocate to.



The new department will be headed by Pieter Berkhout, newly-appointed

external affairs vice president of Shell International, the London-based

company which provides advice and support to Shell companies around the

world.



Shell UK corporate affairs director John Mills will not be part of the

combined PR division. In a move planned before the shake-up, Mills

becomes head of strategy and planning at Shell International. Mills said

that he would not be replaced. Although he has reported to Shell UK

chairman Chris Fay, his staff will in future report to Berkhout.



’We are setting up a combined group that will service the requirements

of Shell UK, International and Netherlands as a whole,’ said Mills.



Staff at the Dutch, UK, French and German headquarters were told last

week that their offices are to be vacated by the year 2000. The company

has not decided how many redundancies will be involved in total,

although around 200 jobs are to go among the 2000 at Shell UK.



Most staff will simply relocate. People working at Shell-Mex House, the

UK headquarters, are likely to relocate to Shell Centre across the

Thames on the South Bank, where Shell International staff are based.



Shell Netherlands does not have a PR chief. The public affairs

department, which employs 30 people, reports to the company’s director,

Bart de Beer.



A further 34 staff at the French and German headquarters are to relocate

over the next two or three years.



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