Shell Plc has named Wael Sawan as its new CEO, who will succeed Ben van Beurden at the end of 2022.
Wael is a 25 year veteran of Shell, currently the Director Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions, and was previously the Director Upstream. He has been a member of Shell’s Executive Committee for three years, according to a company statement.
“Wael Sawan is an exceptional leader, with all the qualities needed to drive Shell safely and profitably through its next phase of transition and growth,” said Shell’s Chair, Sir Andrew Mackenzie. “His track record of commercial, operational and transformational success reflects not only his broad, deep experience and understanding of Shell and the energy sector, but also his strategic clarity.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that van Beurden will be stepping down next year after leading the British multinational oil and gas company since 2014.
During his tenure van Beurden oversaw Shell’s biggest acquisition in decades, the purchase of rival BG Group for $53 billion in 2016.
“Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career, culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO,” Mackenzie said. “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.”
At that time, it was reported that Shell had four candidates on a shortlist to replace him, sources told Reuters.
The candidates included Sawan, and Huibert Vigeveno, who heads the company’s refining operations of downstream.
Recently appointed Chief Financial Officer Sinead Gorman and Zoe Yujnovich, head of upstream, were also seen as possible successors.
Van Beurden has focused in recent months on Shell’s historic headquarters relocation from The Hague to London at the start of 2022 as well as the energy crisis that has gripped the world in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.