June 27th 2016
Dubbed the Hidden Empire by economic historian Dr. Edward Nogel, Shubin Interstellar has become one of the most expansive companies in UEE history, with profits to rival any solar system’s and an employee base large enough to fill one. And while most people are familiar with the company by name, because a large portion of their business happens in the most remote parts of space, few are aware of how massive a corporate entity Shubin really is. Yet from its very inception, Shubin was created with big plans in mind.
Founded in 2410, Shubin Interstellar began life as an investment group headed by Sol construction magnate Martha Shubin to take advantage of the nascent terraforming boom. As Humanity’s exploration of the stars continued and more worlds were discovered, Martha was calculating that a large bet on terraforming would pay off. The group began by providing capital to various terraforming firms, but after a series of mergers and acquisitions, Shubin Interstellar found itself with controlling interest in the third largest terraforming conglomerate in the UNE.
The business continued to grow as Humanity did, but the executives at Shubin found themselves with an overhead cost problem once the terraforming was done in any given system. The equipment and expertise that they had built up in the system during the lengthy planetary engineering process was being sold off or liquidated once the work was done, at a considerable loss. Those concerns were compounded as the rapid expansion of the 25th and 26th century began to slow, meaning that there were fewer systems to terraform. The solution presented itself when Fulcrum Mining Associates offered a massive buyout of Shubin’s assets in Centauri system. Instead, Shubin made a counter offer to purchase Fulcrum outright — the plan being that by acquiring their mining expertise, Shubin would be able to seamlessly retrofit their terraforming holdings directly into mining ones.
It ended up being a highly profitable decision, and Shubin’s already impressive portfolio expanded rapidly. Soon pure mining facilities were being constructed in systems without terraforming needs. By the 27th century, mining made up 60% of Shubin Interstellar’s net worth, which prompted the company to segment terraforming into a separate planetary engineering subsidiary and heavily shift focus to ore acquisition. Shubin had successfully transitioned from a company that helped create worlds to one that focused primarily on ripping them apart.
Fast forward to today and Shubin has mining operations in close to every system in the UEE and many more beyond. Their influence on politics and government is unmatched and public records show that Shubin contributed more than any other company to lobbying efforts in the 2945 fiscal year. While these days, referring to a senator as having “rocks in his pocket” is typically used to describe a politician who holds up proceedings, the phrase originally was used for anyone in the Senate who accepted large donations from Shubin. Yet despite their size, history and political sway, their brand new shining headquarters on microTech demonstrates clearly their dedication to remaining on the cutting edge and their commitment to continue to evolve and grow. Many attribute this company’s continued success to their current CEO Gavin Arlington.
Born on Earth, Gavin Arlington was immersed into the world of business and finance from a young age when he got his first job as a runner at the Mumbai Commodity Exchange. According to his 2941 autobiography Collecting Dust, it was his time on the exchange floor, watching fortunes made and lost in fractions of seconds, that inspired the development of his business philosophy known as Evolutionary Management.
According to this theory, only by creating a corporate environment where the ambitious and hardworking get rewarded and those not performing above expectations get quickly culled can a company remain agile and not get mired in stagnation. Even though Shubin has seen a high level of turnover in the past few years, the strategy seems to be working. Since Arlington has taken over Shubin, the company has recorded increases in profit and expansion across the board. Under his leadership dozens of new initiatives have been started, including the company’s move to Stanton, tech overhauls of their mining fleet, their historical conservation program, employee health awareness, massive charitable contributions and a strong dedication to hiring military veterans. However, despite this proven track record, one of his more recent directives has been met with some controversy.
Recently, Shubin Interstellar has begun another interesting transition and has gone from predominantly hiring internal personnel to heavily engaging external contractors. Arlington has come out in written statements explaining that this strategy means the company can remain more flexible in the face of changing mining conditions and allows its core workers to focus on high priority operations.
However, mining rights groups have pointed out that, as contractors, many of the miners working for Shubin are no longer entitled to the same benefits and protections that full employees receive. Since Shubin has been forced to forge deeper into more and more hazardous areas, there are those who think that Shubin’s switch to hiring contractors is an attempt to avoid the expense and risk associated with having their own employees working these difficult sites. Yet there’s no denying that independent miners across the ’verse have been bidding on these jobs en masse, welcoming the influx of credits in what can sometimes be a volatile industry.
Whatever the future holds for the company, there is no denying that they have made their mark on Humanity’s history. With hundreds of tons of ores and minerals being harvested every second, Shubin Interstellar and their CEO Gavin Arlington are still changing the face of our Empire, not only physically with their large scale operations, but also behind the scenes with their wide reaching influence and financial strength.