The chief executive of Shell is to step down later this year after close to a decade in the top job which saw him steer the business toward promises of a green future.
Ben van Beurden would hand over the reins to the company’s Canadian director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions, Wael Sawan.
After resigning as chief executive at the end of this year, the Dutchman would continue to advise the board until next June.
He would leave behind a significant legacy in the oil major.
Under his leadership, Shell had to give up its “Royal Dutch’’ designation for the first time in more than 100 years as it scrapped its listing in the Netherlands.
The headquarters of Shell also moved to London at the same time, forcing Mr van Beurden to leave his native country his was one of only a handful of jobs that moved with the office.
But perhaps the most consequential moment of the chief executive’s time in charge was the promise that Shell would become a carbon net zero company by the middle of this century.
For now, it was merely a promise for a long time into the future but Shell also had a target to halve absolute emissions by 2030, compared with where they were in 2016.
“Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career, culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO,’’ said Shell chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie.
“During the last decade, he has been in the vanguard for the transition of Shell to a net zero emissions energy business by 2050.