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Market welcomes return of Shell boss

Daily Telegraph: Market welcomes return of Shell boss

By David Litterick (Filed: 25/06/2004)

Shell brought back a veteran executive of 20 years’ experience yesterday to replace ousted finance director Judy Boynton and help it recover from recent scandals.

The oil giant appointed Peter Voser to the finance role, more than two years after he left the company to help turn around ABB as the engineers’ finance director.

The 45-year-old Swiss will join on October 4 and help to rebuild confidence in the group, which is still reeling from the news that it over-booked its oil and gas reserves.

Shares in Shell gained 8.75 to 417.25p – their highest level in more than a year as analysts welcomed the appointment. Mr Voser held a variety of roles with Shell in Switzerland, Britain, Argentina and Chile from 1982 to 2002. His last posting at Shell was as chief financial officer on the global oil products executive committee.

Investors set aside concerns that Mr Voser, as a former Shell insider, may be the wrong man to address the problem that Shell is seen as having a distant and uncommunicative management style and an unwieldy corporate structure.

Oriel Securities analyst Brendan Wilders said: “He has outside experience and he knows the company and he is untainted.”

Others said his stint at ABB, which has itself had to fight to regain investors’ confidence after an over-ambitious expansion and potentially ruinous asbestos claims, would offer a fresh perspective to Shell’s board.

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