Shell Makes Surprising CEO Appointment

by Christopher Freeburn | July 9, 2013 8:58 am

Shell Gas Station[1]Europe’s largest oil producer will get a new CEO[2] next year.

Ben van Beurden has been tapped to succeed current Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A[3], RDS-B[4]) CEO Peter Voser in January. Van Beurden, who currently heads the company’s refining operations, was not on analysts’ short list of candidates for the position, Reuters notes.

A ten year veteran at Royal Dutch Shell, Van Beurden has experience in both the company’s upstream and downstream operations. He beat out a number of other divisional heads, including Marvin Odum, head of upstream operations in the Americas, Matthias Buchseland, director of projects and technology, and Andrew Brown, head of international upstream, to take the top spot at the world’s second biggest oil production company.

Earlier this year, Voser, who became CEO in 2009, announced that he would leave the job early next year, surprising analysts and industry watchers.

In March, the company said it was abandoning efforts to drill in the Arctic Sea off the Alaska coast[5] for the remainder of 2013.

Shares of Royal Dutch Shell rose fractionally in Tuesday pre-market trading.

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