Shell names renewables boss Sawan as CEO to lead green push


Wael Sawan - REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

BENGALURU: Shell named Wael Sawan, the head of its renewables and gas business, as its new CEO on Thursday to replace Ben van Beurden, who is stepping down at the end of the year after nearly a decade in the role.

Sawan, 48, a Canadian national and former head of Shell's oil and gas production business, was seen as the front-runner to succeed van Beurden, Reuters had reported earlier this month.

After initially resisting calls to finalise firm greenhouse emission reduction targets, Shell has since 2017 gradually set more ambitious goals to tackle global warming, facing pressure from environmental activists. It is now aiming to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 with several short and medium-term targets.

"We will be disciplined and value focused," Sawan said in a statement.

Analysts at Credit Suisse said in a note on Thursday Sawan is well known to investors, and they expect his appointment to have a limited impact on Shell's strategy.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse in energy demand in early 2020, Shell cut its dividend, the world's largest at the time at around $15 billion, for the first time since World War Two.

Sawan's appointment is effective Jan. 1, Shell said, while 64-year-old Dutchman van Beurden will continue to work as an adviser to the board until June 30. - Reuters

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Shell , Wael Sawan , CEO , Ben van Beurden

   

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