Shell names Wael Sawan as the new CEO to succeed Ben van Beurden

Sep 15, 2022 by Energy Connects
image is EC SHELL Wael Sawan NEW

Born in Beirut, Wael Sawan is a dual Lebanese-Canadian national who grew up in Dubai. He will take over as the CEO from Ben van Beurden on January 1, 2023.

Shell plc on Thursday named Wael Sawan as its new Chief Executive Officer, taking over from Ben van Beurden on January 1, 2023. Van Beurden will continue working as adviser to the Board until June 30, 2023, after which he will leave the group, the company said in a statement.

Upon joining as the CEO, Sawan will also join Shell’s Board of Directors, Shell said.

“Wael Sawan is an exceptional leader, with all the qualities needed to drive Shell safely and profitably through its next phase of transition and growth,” Shell Chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie said in a statement.

“His track record of commercial, operational and transformational success reflects not only his broad, deep experience and understanding of Shell and the energy sector, but also his strategic clarity. He combines these qualities with a passion for people, which enables him to get the best from those around him. I look forward to working with Wael as we accelerate the delivery of our strategy,” he added.

Commenting on his appointment, Sawan said: “It’s been a privilege to work alongside Ben and I’m honoured to take over the leadership of this great company from him. I’m looking forward to channelling 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 is currently the Director Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions at Shell, and was previously the Director Upstream. He is based in The Hague and has been a member of Shell’s Executive Committee (EC) for three years. Prior to joining EC, he was the Executive Vice President Deepwater and a member of the Upstream Leadership Team, and Executive Vice President Qatar and a member of the Integrated Gas Leadership Team.

Sawan has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas during his 25-year Shell career, and has also held roles in Downstream Retail, and in various commercial and New Business Development projects, the company said. Born in Beirut, Sawan is a dual Lebanese-Canadian national. He grew up in Dubai and holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Commenting on Van Beurden, Sir Mackenzie said: “Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career, culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO. During the last decade, he has been in the vanguard for the transition of Shell to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and has become a leading industry voice on some of the most important issues affecting society.”

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