Shell has announced that Ben van Beurden will step down as CEO at the end of the year, and that his successor will be Wael Sawan. Wael’s appointment is effective on New Year’s Day when he will also join Shell’s board of directors.
Van Beurden will continue working as adviser to the Board until June 30, 2023, after which he will leave the group.
Shell’s chair Sir Andrew Mackenzie said: “Wael Sawan is an exceptional leader, with all the qualities needed to drive Shell safely and profitably through its next phase of transition and growth.
“His track record of commercial, operational and transformational success reflects not only his broad, deep experience and understanding of Shell and the energy sector, but also his strategic clarity.
“He combines these qualities with a passion for people, which enables him to get the best from those around him. The outcome of the Board’s managed succession process resulted both in the appointment of an outstanding CEO and proved the strength and depth of Shell’s leadership talent. I look forward to working with Wael as we accelerate the delivery of our strategy.”
Sawan said: “It’s been a privilege to work alongside Ben and I’m honoured to take over the leadership of this great company from him.
“I’m looking forward to channelling the pioneering spirit and passion of our incredible people to rise to the immense challenges, and grasp the opportunities presented by the energy transition. We will be disciplined and value focused, as we work with our customers and partners to deliver the reliable, affordable and cleaner energy the world needs.”
Commenting on van Beurden, Sir Andrew said: “Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career, culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO.
“During the last decade, he has been in the vanguard for the transition of Shell to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and has become a leading industry voice on some of the most important issues affecting society.
“He leaves a financially strong and profitable company with a robust balance sheet, very strong cash generation capability and a compelling set of options for growth.”
Ben van Beurden said: “It has been a privilege and an honour to have served Shell for nearly four decades and to lead the company for the past nine years. In my journey from LNG design engineer to CEO, I have been fortunate to work alongside so many talented people from diverse backgrounds – all committed to the company’s goal of providing the world with the essential commodities of modern life.”
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