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Shell Names Mackenzie as New Chairman, Proposes 50% Female Board

Shell Names Mackenzie as New Chairman, Proposes 50% Female Board

Bloomberg: Laura Hurst: Thu, March 11, 2021, 8:43 AM

(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc appointed former BHP Group executive Andrew Mackenzie as chairman, and said its board would have as many women as men on it for the first time.

Mackenzie, who oversaw BHP’s retreat from shale, takes over from Chad Holliday, whose departure had been flagged since last year. It also appointed cyber expert Jane Lute, a move that will take its board to gender parity, the company said.

“Andrew brings to Shell his experience of leadership, his global outlook, and a deep understanding of the energy business and climate action,” the company said in the statement.

Shell’s most pressing challenge is navigating the energy transition, and it has set ambitious climate goals as it moves away from its traditional Big Oil model under CEO Ben van Beurden.

Mackenzie, a British national, joined Shell’s board in October. He was chief executive officer of BHP from 2013 to 2019.

He put BHP on course for many of its most ambitious targets, introducing a pledge for women to account for half its workforce in 2025 and being one of the first major miners to set goals to curb customer emissions.

Much of his tenure was overshadowed by the disaster at BHP’s Samarco iron ore joint venture in Brazil, where a dam collapse killed 19 people and is still the subject of ongoing civil claims and investigations.

Shell also said that non-executive director Nigel Sheinwald would not stand for re-election, and it would propose Lute for the role. If the changes are approved, the board will consist equally of men and women for the first time, making Shell the only Big Oil firm with an even gender split.

American-born Lute joins the board following a 16-year career in the U.S. Army. Having served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2009, Lute later held cyber-security executive roles. She is a non-executive director for Marsh & McLennan and the Union Pacific Corp.

(Updates with additional details throughout.)

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