Shell CEO Ben van Beurden will step down at the end of 2022, and Wael Sawan, presently director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions at the oil giant, will take the helm at the beginning of next year.
The news, which was announced on Sept. 15, come after speculations that Shell was looking to replace van Beurden, who has been CEO of the company for almost a decade.
A dual Lebanese-Canadian national, Sawan has held roles in downstream retail and various commercial projects during his 25-year career at Shell before taking the lead on renewables.
In recent years, Shell has focused on offering more renewable and low-carbon options to its customers and invests in wind, solar, hydrogen, and electric vehicle charging.
Sawan, who has dual Lebanese-Canadian citizenship, has been with the company for 25 years and has been involved with a diverse set of commercial projects and retail roles.
“I’m looking forward to channeling the pioneering spirit and passion of our incredible people to rise to the immense challenges, and grasp the opportunities presented by the energy transition,” Sawan said in a statement. “We will be disciplined and value-focused, as we work with our customers and partners to deliver the reliable, affordable, and cleaner energy the world needs.”
Back in 2016, under van Beurden’s leadership, Shell acquired BG Group for $53 billion. The CEO who is to step down also navigated the company through the COVID-related historic collapse in energy demand and saw increasing investor pressure to bring down greenhouse emissions.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to have served Shell for nearly four decades and to lead the company for the past nine years,” van Beurden said, adding that he has great confidence in Wael as his successor.