As another offshore wind chief quits Shell, was there a social media parting shot at chief Wael Sawan?



Shell lost a second top renewables executive within a week with UK offshore wind business manager chief Melissa Read resigning — and apparently making her feelings about the supermajor’s strategy clear on social media.

The departure of Read, who helped steer the group’s successful bid in the giant ScotWind seabed leasing round, was confirmed by Shell to Upstream’s sister renewables publication Recharge.

News of her exit comes just a week after it emerged former Orsted star Thomas Brostrom would leave Shell just two years after being appointed to head its offshore wind business.

The departures come amid a priority pivot back to oil and gas under recently installed chief executive Wael Sawan, who has made clear the supermajor’s upstream hydrocarbons business is centre stage.

Recharge reported on Thursday how campaigning group Greenpeace slammed as “disgraceful” comments by Sawan that continued oil and gas production was for the benefit of schoolchildren in countries such as Pakistan.

A Linkedin post of the Recharge article was subsequently ‘liked’ by Read’s own account.

Article continues below the advert

Read joined Shell in May 2019 from Innogy and has previously worked for Statkraft, according to her Linkedin profile.

The retrenching toward higher oil and gas profits was reflected in a corporate reorganisation which concluded at the end of June.

Brostrom’s former position, which was global in reach, was effectively absorbed by a Shell Energy Europe division that includes Emerging Markets Power. This division is now headed by senior vice president of Greg Joiner, who was previously head of Shell Energy Australia.

Shell said of Read’s post: “We can confirm that her responsibilities will be picked up by another colleague, with the precise details still being finalised.”

Read confirmed to Recharge she has resigned from Shell but had no further comment.

(A version of this article first appeared on Upstream’s sister publication, Recharge)