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No 47 on The Times Power 100 List: Jeroen van der Veer

Inventive and dynamic risk-takers who changed the face of Britain

January 10, 2008
Compiled by Our Business Staff

Does Sir Win Bischoff wield the most power and influence in British business? Does the dire trading statement of Wednesday mean that Sir Stuart Rose is far too generously rated? Does Alistair Darling deserve the relatively lowly rating of number 11? Or is it precisely right that a politician hovers in the wings rather than stealing the limelight? Is there no other number at which a Chancellor of the Exchequer would be at home? Why are there so few women on the list? Is it for nothing that we talk about one-upmanship and not one-up-womanship? Are women working at their jobs while men are working at their job titles? Are investment bankers and other professional advisers such as lawyers and accountants, no more than parasites that live off the hard work of corporations, and the hard-earned savings of the Great British public? No one can suggest this is a definitive list. Future lists, as well as day-to-day business coverage, will be influenced by readers’ comments.

The Power 100 is the annually compiled list of men and women who hold sway over British business. The survey, now in its fifth year, has evolved. Originally, it put only directors of FTSE 100 companies under the microscope. Then it searched the boardrooms of the country’s 350 largest quoted companies. This year it has used the data on FTSE directors, but then looked beyond quoted companies. It acknowledges the role of private equity, the influence of government and regulators as well as the way that business increasingly is shaped by people outside the boardroom, such as bankers, lawyers and the media. Data has been supplied by Hemscott, the specialist information company.

47 – Jeroen van der Veer was appointed as chairman of Shell in 2004, when the Anglo-Dutch oil giant was immersed in a scandal over the misreporting of its reserves, which led to a plunging share price and the departure of several key executives, including his predecessor Sir Philip Watts. The Dutchman was the first chief executive in the company’s 100-year history after the ending of its Anglo-Dutch dual ownership structure. He has been responsible for Shell’s big push into unconventional oil sources, such as Canada’s tar sands and renewable energy. Born in 1947, Mr van der Veer studied mechanical engineering at Delft University and economics at Rotterdam University before joining Shell in 1971, working in the Netherlands, Britain, Curaçao and America before taking the top job. A nonexecutive director of Unilever since 2004, he was a supervisory board member of the Dutch Central Bank from 2000 until 2004. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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