What about our R and D folks? I hear they’re having a hiring freeze. And that people are desperate to get out. Is it a sinking ship?
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The bad decisions of the past 20 years are coming back to bite. Intelligent academics were hired but unfortunately most of them have never had an original thought in there lives. Give them a textbook and they can solve any problem in it. Ask them to develop something new, novel, and of real value and they they are clueless. Unfortunately these individuals were told they are great and promoted at accelerated rates to positions of leadership, a quality they do not have. The result, our research and development is no more. The term research seems to be a taboo word these days but we are still pushing the story that we contribute great value to the company. If this is so then show me the money (not BS numbers just pulled out of the air). It is sad that we have reached this point but it happened over many years and leadership seems to be getting weaker not stronger.
Anyone saying nothing valuable is coming out of ERI simply have no idea what they are talking about. However, for a number of years, ERI has dealt with about 10% annual budget cuts. It's hard to do anything but optimize current processes when your total annual research budget is less than what Chevron spends in a month.
It certainly feels bleak.
The research center's troubles are mostly collateral damage from the ELT's seeming rejection of growth beyond our legacy areas and EE's corresponding implosion.
Why have R&D if strategy is dividends, buybacks, pipelines, and low risk short term capital projects?
If P66's plan is to just buy back stock faster than our core businesses decline then we are way too bloated in corporate and R&D. Don't need a bunch of MBAs and PhDs to tell you how to run our assets into the ground.
Company leaders used to come out of the research center, now no one cares what the research center is doing or who works there. What's the point?
Lost at least 7 of what were supposed to be among our top technical folks in the past two months. Word is, more will be leaving.
The main issues at ERI is clueless upper management and extremely bloated middle management. We have more supervisors, managers, and directors than we have researchers, technicians, and operators. As far as the research bringing value to the company? It absolutely does through cost savings and efficiencies found at the bench and pilot scale that are then implemented at refineries, pipeline hubs, and lubricants businesses. I know of at least 5 projects I've personally worked on in the last 3 years that saved the company the total budget it cost to run the research center. The company would be very nieve to close the doors on ERI. Although it wouldn't surprise me with the choices being made by Corporate.
The R&D center is a lot of hype. A lot of money has gone in but it has been decades since any real commercial achievement has come out.
No leadership, no direction, a sense of hopelessness, and people are leaving
It’s like their intent is drive morale as low as they can. I know it’s rock bottom where I work.