New Shell CEO: We All Got It Wrong!

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Tim Haïdar

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday appointed Ben van Beurden, director of the group's refining and marketing operations, as chief executive to replace outgoing head Peter Voser.

"The board of Royal Dutch Shell plc today announced that Ben van Beurden will succeed Peter Voser as chief executive officer, effective 1 January 2014," the energy major said in a statement.

"Peter Voser will leave Shell at the end of March 2014, marking the end of 29 years with the company."

Dutch national Van Beurden, 55, has been Shell's downstream director since January 2013.

"I am delighted to announce Ben van Beurden as the next chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell," said Chairman Jorma Ollila. "Ben has deep knowledge of the industry and proven executive experience across a range of Shell businesses. Ben will continue to drive and further develop the strategic agenda that we have set out, to generate competitive returns for our shareholders."

Van Beurden has held various operational and commercial roles in upstream and downstream activities at Shell, and joined Shell in 1983. He has worked for Shell in the Netherlands, Africa, Malaysia and the United States, as well as Britain. Voser, who has been chief executive since July 2009, will have worked a total of 29 years at the group during two spells. Investors welcomed the appointment in early morning deals on the London stock market. Shell saw its 'A' share price jump 0.63 percent to 2,142.50 pence on the British capital's FTSE 100 index of top companies, which was 0.95 percent higher at 6,511.11 points.

Shell revealed earlier this year that Voser, 54, would retire in 2014 to spend more time with his family.The London-listed energy company made the surprise announcement of Voser's departure in May alongside a drop in first-quarter profits that was blamed on lower crude oil prices.

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