UK major Shell has announced that Ben van Beurden will step down as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the end of 2022, and that his successor will be Wael Sawan.
Sawan’s appointment is effective January 1, 2023, when he will also join Shell’s Board of Directors.
Ben van Beurden will continue working as adviser to the Board until June 30, 2023, after which he will leave the group.
The incoming CEO is currently the Director Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions, and was previously the Director Upstream. He is based in The Hague and has been a member of Shell’s Executive Committee (EC) for three years. Prior to joining EC, he was the Executive Vice President Deepwater and a member of the Upstream Leadership Team, and Executive Vice President Qatar and a member of the Integrated Gas Leadership Team
“Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO.”, says Andrew Mackenzie, the company’s non-executive Chairman, “During the last decade, he has been in the vanguard for the transition of Shell to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and has become a leading industry voice on some of the most important issues affecting society.
He leaves a financially strong and profitable company with a robust balance sheet, very strong cash generation capability and a compelling set of options for growth. These were all enabled by bold moves he has led, including the 2016 acquisition of BG and the transformational $30Billion divestment of non-core assets that followed. He took firm, decisive action to marshal the company through the global pandemic, seizing the opportunity for a major reset to ensure we emerged fitter, stronger and equipped to succeed in the energy transition. Powering Progress, Shell’s detailed strategy to accelerate our profitable transition to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, was unveiled in February 2021 and was quickly followed by moves to simplify both our organisational and share structures. Ben’s legacy will frame Shell’s success for decades to come.”
WAEL SAWAN HAS WORKED IN EUROPE, Africa, Asia and the Americas during his 25-year Shell career, and has also held roles in Downstream Retail, and in various commercial and New Business Development projects. Wael was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and is a dual Lebanese-Canadian national. He grew up in Dubai and holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is married to Nicole and they have three sons.