Shell names new CEO to replace retiring Voser

07 09, 2013 by Fuel Fix

Royal Dutch Shell selected its future chief executive officer, refining leader Ben van Beurden, indicating its plans to leverage its chemical and refining expertise to keep pace with the growing role of downstream.

Van Beurden will succeed current CEO Peter Voser in 2014, who announced in May his plans to retire in the next year.

“His focus has been downstream, including 10 years in liquefied natural gas, which may surprise some who expected more upstream focus (Marvin Odum, Andrew Brown, or CFO Simon Henry),” wrote Tudor Pickering & Holt in a Tuesday morning analyst’s note. “However, Royal Dutch Shell has significant leverage to liquefied natural gas, gas to liquids, and petrochemicals.”

Van Beurden, 55, has been Downstream Director since January 2013. In 2005, van Beurden worked in Houston as the vice president of manufacturing excellence for Shell, overseeing high-performance initiatives in refining and chemicals manufacturing.

“Ben has deep knowledge of the industry and proven executive experience across a range of Shell businesses,” said Shell Chairman Jorma Ollila in a written statement. “Ben will continue to drive and further develop the strategic agenda that we have set out, to generate competitive returns for our shareholders.”

Van Beurden, a Dutch national, joined Shell in 1983 and has held a number of technical and commercial roles in both the Upstream and Downstream businesses. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.

Peter Voser will leave Shell at the end of March 2014, marking the end of 29 years with the Company.