Shell CEO steps down

At the end of 2022, Ben van Beurden will leave his position as Shell’s CEO, and Wael Sawan will take over.

Wael will join the Shell Board of Directors on January 1, 2023, the day after he is appointed. Up to June 30, 2023, Ben van Beurden will serve as the Board’s adviser; beyond that, he will depart the organization.

Wael’s appointment is effective January 1, 2023, when he will also join Shell’s Board of Directors. Ben van Beurden will continue working as an adviser to the Board until June 30, 2023, after which he will leave the group.

Wael Sawan said: “It’s been a privilege to work alongside Ben and I’m honored to take over the leadership of this great company from him. I’m looking forward to channeling 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.”

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.”

Commenting on Ben 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. These were all enabled by bold moves he has led, including the 2016 acquisition of BG and the transformational $30 billion divestment of non-core assets that followed. He took firm, decisive action to marshal the company through the global pandemic, seizing the opportunity for a major reset to ensure we emerged fitter, stronger, and equipped to succeed in the energy transition. Powering Progress, Shell’s detailed strategy to accelerate our profitable transition to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, was unveiled in February 2021 and was quickly followed by moves to simplify both our organizational and share structures. Ben’s legacy will frame Shell’s success for decades to come.”

Ben van Beurden said: “It has been a privilege and an honor 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. 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. I wish him and his family all the best for the journey ahead.”