Oil giant Shell on Thursday announced that CEO Ben van Beurden will step down at the end of the year after nearly a decade at the helm.
Wael Sawan will become its next chief executive on Jan. 1.
The news follows speculation that Shell had been actively looking for a successor to replace van Beurden as chief executive.
Reuters reported at the start of September, citing two unnamed sources, that Shell’s board succession committee had met several times in recent months to draw up plans for van Beurden’s departure and interview potential successors.
It has now been confirmed that Sawan, currently Shell’s director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions, will take over.
“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,” van Beurden said in a statement.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved together. I have great confidence in Wael as my successor. He is a smart, principled and dynamic leader, who I know will continue to serve Shell with conviction and dedication,” he added.
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