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Shelling out

The Times

January 23, 2009

Martin Waller: City Diary

In the blue corner: Jeroen van der Veer

Jeroen van der Veer, outgoing chief executive of Shell, was asked on CNBC’s The Leaders programme last night about his unexpected appointment to the top job there. Did he want it? “In the end, if your company – where you have already worked for more than 30 years – you believe it is a strong company, you believe that there are good people and that you can build a strong future together, then that’s a very easy question.”

He is standing down in favour of Peter Voser in the summer and was asked about his plans for retirement. “They pay me a high salary now not to think about what I have to do after the 1st July,” he said.

“Dutch houses usually have those red flowers, geraniums. People say that when you retire you sit behind the geraniums. No, there will be enough activities to do. You can do, for instance, what is called a ‘nonexecutive directorship’ but maybe . . . I have quite some interest in picking up some old studies or hobbies.”

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