According to a report from Reuters, Ben van Beurden, CEO of energy major Shell, will be stepping down soon after almost 10 years of leading the company and almost 4 decades working for the firm.
Reuter’s sources said that a succession committee led by Chairman Andrew Mackenzie had met multiple times to interview potential successors, with them currently having narrowed the candidates down to a shortlist of four people. These include upstream chief Zoe Yujnovich, director of downstream Huibert Vigeveno, the current CFO Sinead Gorman and gas and renewables head Wael Sawan. While no final decision has been made, Sawan is seen as the frontrunner due to his current role in low-carbon energies, which is set to be a major growth area for Shell.
During van Beurden’s time as CEO, the Dutchman guided the company’s acquisition of BG Group to become the biggest liquified natural gas (LNG) trader in the world. He also took the company through two economic downturns and set the course to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050. Prior to taking up the top job at Shell, van Beurden headed up Shell’s downstream business, which makes chemicals and refines crude oil into fuel and other products, such as the base oils for lubricants like the Shell Tonna slideway oil.
More recently, van Beurden has been supervising the company’s move from its historic headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands to London. He has not yet decided on a date to step down, but Reuter’s sources say it is expected to happen sometime next year.