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Shell boss Van Beurden to step down, replacement named 

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Shell CEO Van Beurden

Shell chief executive, Ben van Beurden, is to step down this year after close to a decade in the top job.

Mr van Beurden will hand over the reins to the company’s Canadian director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions, Wael Sawan.

After resigning as chief executive at the end of this year, the Dutchman would continue to advise the board until next June.

He would leave behind a significant legacy in the oil major.

Under his leadership, Shell had to give up its ‘Royal Dutch’ designation for the first time in more than 100 years as it scrapped its listing in the Netherlands.

The headquarters of Shell also moved to London at the same time, forcing Mr van Beurden to leave his native country.

“Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career, culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO,’’ said Shell chairman Andrew Mackenzie. “During the last decade, he has been in the vanguard for the transition of Shell to a net zero emissions energy business by 2050.”

Mr van Beurden explained that it “has been a privilege and an honour to have served Shell for nearly four decades and to lead the company for the past nine years.”

He added, “In my journey from LNG design engineer to CEO, I have been fortunate to work alongside so many talented people from diverse backgrounds. All are committed to the company’s goal of providing the world with the essential commodities of modern life.’’

Mr Sawan, his replacement, also came from a lifetime spent at the oil major. He started at Shell a quarter a century ago.