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Canada candidate for top Shell job

Financial Times: Canada candidate for top Shell job

By Carola Hoyos in London

Published: May 19 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: May 19 2004 5:00

Royal Dutch/Shell yesterday announced the first promotion to its committee of managing directors since the scandal over its oil and gas reserves cut its members from six to three.

The appointment of Linda Cook, president and chief executive of Shell Canada, requires approval by shareholders at next month’s annual meeting. If it is passed, she will take up her post in August.

She is to run the group’s natural gas and power operations – a position she held before her move to Canada in 2003.

Ms Cook has long been viewed as a contender for a position on the CMD. One Shell insider said she was seen by many as having been passed over for a position on the board in favour of Judy Boynton, chief financial officer, who became the board’s first woman but resigned last month amid the reserves crisis.

Ms Boynton and Sir Philip Watts, former chairman, and Walter van de Vijver, former head of exploration and production, were asked to resign after Shell found it had wrongly booked more than 20 per cent of its oil and natural gas reserves with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In the ensuing shake-up, Malcolm Brinded, head of gas and power, was asked to run exploration and production.

Shell is said to be seeking an external candidate for CFO and may still need to find someone to run its chemicals business, following Jeroen van der Veer’s promotion to chairman.

Ms Cook, a Kansas native and since 2003 a non-executive director of Boeing, joined Shell in 1980 after graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in petroleum engineering.

In Canada, she will be replaced by Clive Mather, chairman of Shell UK.

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