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Times Online: Race starts for a new Shell chief executive

EXTRACT: He took over three years ago when Sir Philip Watts, his controversial predecessor, was forced to quit after the reserves scandal that turned Royal Dutch Shell into a City laughing stock.

March 28, 2007
Steve Hawkes

The UK oil giant said that Jeroen van der Veer will leave in two years. He was expected to retire in 2008

Jeroen van der Veer will step down as chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell in two years’ time, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant announced today.

The group said that the 59-year-old had agreed to extend his present contract by one year but would bow out on June 30, 2009.

He was expected to step down next year, given that he turns 60, the group’s traditional retirement age, in October.

Peter Hitchens, an analyst at Teather & Greenwood, said that Malcolm Brinded, Royal Dutch Shell’s head of exploration and production, was likely to take over.

“Malcolm Brinded is viewed as the favourite,” Mr Hitchens said.

Other possible runners include Linda Cook, executive director for gas and power, and Peter Voser, chief financial officer. Rob Routs, the head of refining and marketing, turns 61 in September.

Royal Dutch Shell B shares were up more than 1 per cent, or 19p, at £16.99, after the announcement.

The surprise move means that both Britain’s oil giants will have new chief executives within two years.

Tony Hayward will take over as chief executive of BP when Lord Browne of Madingley retires this summer.

Jorma Ollila, the Royal Dutch Shell chairman, said: “There has been great progress in our company in recent years.

“Jeroen’s decision today provides clarity and I am most pleased that he will stay on longer, providing valuable continuity and leadership in Shell over the next years.”

Mr Van der Veer’s is expected to depart with a pension pot of more than £10 million.

He took over three years ago when Sir Philip Watts, his controversial predecessor, was forced to quit after the reserves scandal that turned Royal Dutch Shell into a City laughing stock.

Mr Van der Veer has quietly steered the group back to respectability.

Last year Shell delivered record profits, helped by sky-high oil and gas prices.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article1578804.ece

 

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