Friday, June 2, 2017

Chevron CEO Suffers Major Rebuke Over $12 Billion Ecuador Liability

Chevron CEO John Watson awakened today following a rollicking shareholder meeting facing the hard reality that the company’s huge expenditures to try to kill off the $12 billion Ecuador environmental case have fundamentally failed, with the affected indigenous villagers “more animated than ever” following a major shareholder rebuke of the company. 
One institutional shareholder, Zevin Asset Management, cited Watson’s “material mishandling” of the litigation to propose that he be removed as Chevron’s Chairman. The resolution receive the support of 39% of all shares, a huge sum In all, Chevron has spent an estimated $2 billion defending itself against the legal claims of the villagers by using at least 60 law firms and 2,000 lawyers – easily considered the most expensive corporate defense ever. The affected communities have virtually no money, so the battle is a total mismatch in terms of resources, said Yanza. Given that any vote over 10% is usually considered a fantastic success. 
“Moreover, proponents are concerned about the adequacy of the Company’s disclosure of those risks to shareholders,” the statement says.  “Finally, proponents are deeply troubled that the Company has evidently sought to intimidate longstanding shareholders who questioned the Company’s approach to these issues.” 
In his terse comments during the annual meeting about the Ecuador case, Watson also failed to mention that the affected communities in Ecuador are making huge advances in pursuing Chevron’s assets in Canada, where the country’s Supreme Court recently ruled unanimously in their favour. 
He also ignored a groundswell of support for the Ecuadorian villagers from 17 human rights groups and 19 international legal scholars, who recently filed legal briefs in the case. A bombshell new report documents how Chevron fabricated evidence and bribed a witness before a U.S. court to try to undermine the Ecuador judgment, potentially exposing company officials and their lawyers to criminal prosecution.
Chevron CEO Suffers Major Rebuke Over $12 Billion Ecuador Liability

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