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Sunday Telegraph: Shell’s fifth columnist

Jeroen van der Veer 

 Van der Veer skates along Holland’s canals

08 April 2007

THERE are not many chief executives who travel by bike these days – let alone ones at major oil companies. But perhaps appropriately for a Dutchman, Royal Dutch CEO Jeroen van derVeer, pictured, is the exception, doing his bit for pedal power in a country where something like a third of all journeys are made on bicycles.

Van der Veer may be one of the world’s fittest chief execs. He keeps in shape by skating along Holland’s canals – he has twice skated the 200km 11-cities marathon – and can often be found cycling to work to Shell’s headquarters in The Hague.

But according to our mole by the windmills, the sight of Shell’s top man coming towards them on a bike is enough to render even Shell’s tough security guards utterly speechless. On one recent trip, van der Veer mischievously joked that petrol was very expensive – hence, by implication, the use of his bike rather than a gas-guzzling beamer. Shell’s dumbfounded guards could only mumble in agreement.

If anyone has seen Lord Browne of BP or Rex Tillerson from ExxonMobil on a bike, or any other kind of two-wheeler recently, please drop us a line.

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