Oil giant Shell on Thursday September 15 declared that President Ben van Beurden will step down toward the year’s end after almost 10 years in charge.
Wael Sawan, who is the director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions, will now takeover as the next CEO on Jan. 1, 2023.
As a dual Lebanese-Canadian national, Sawan held roles in downstream retail and different business projects during his 25-year career at Shell.
The news follows hypothesis that Shell had been effectively searching for a replacement to takeover from van Beurden as CEO.
Reports say, toward the beginning of September, refering to two anonymous sources, Shell’s load up progression council had met a few times lately to draw up plans for van Beurden’s flight and interview likely replacements.
However, it has now been affirmed that Sawan will be the next CEO.
“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,” Sawan said in a statement, adding that it was an honor to follow van Beurden’s leadership.
“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.”
Van Beurden, 64, joined Shell in 1983 and became CEO of the company in 2014, after serving as director of the firm’s refining and chemicals business.
The outgoing CEO oversaw Shell’s biggest acquisition in decades with the $53 billion purchase of rival BG Group in 2016, guided the company through a historic collapse in energy demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and faced intensifying investor pressure to slash the firm’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“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,” van Beurden said.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved together. I have great confidence in Wael as my successor. He is a smart, principled and dynamic leader, who I know will continue to serve Shell with conviction and dedication,” he added.
Shell said van Beurden would keep on filling in as an advisor to the board through to June 30 one year from now, after which he will leave the organization.