Shell picks gas giant Saavn as CEO to lead transition

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  • Van Burden will step down at the end of 2022, leave the group next year
  • Savannah heads Shell’s integrated gas, renewable energy division
  • Savannah was seen as the front runner to replace Van Burden

Sept 15 (Reuters) – Shell (SHEL.L) has turned to the head of its gas and renewables business to drive its transition to a low-carbon future, with Val Savon replacing Ben van Burden as chief executive Chosen to replace.

Savannah’s appointment comes at a critical time for the oil giant, which aims to reduce emissions to near zero by 2050 and move away from fossil fuels, while Europe looks to fossil fuels to avoid a growing energy crisis.

The 48-year-old Lebanese-Canadian Savannah was seen as the frontrunner to replace Van Burden, who is stepping down at the end of the year after 40 years at the world’s largest fuel retailer and Shell. Natural gas (LNG) trader. read more

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During his tenure, Van Burden oversaw Shell’s biggest acquisitions in decades and led the company through two major recessions and a significant move to cut greenhouse emissions – a task that only matters to his successor. Will grow in

Shell lost a landmark case started by climate activists last year when a Dutch court ordered it to sharply cut emissions – a ruling the company has appealed. read more

While Shell’s strategy through the energy transition is focused on providing customers with low-carbon fuels and electricity, its current spending is still heavily geared toward oil and gas.

“They must point out that Shell will largely shift capital expenditures to renewable energy in the short term,” Greenpeace said.

Savannah previously led Shell’s oil and gas production business and now oversees its low-carbon energy and giant gas business.

Analysts at Credit Suisse said he knew investors well and expected his appointment to have a limited impact on Shell’s strategy. Credit Suisse Asset Management is the top five shareholder in Shell.

“The continuation of change is more likely than the revolution of the strategy laid out by Van Burden,” said analysts at RBC Capital.

dividend and renewable

Dutchman van Burden, who joined Shell in 1983 and became CEO in January 2014, will remain on as an advisor to the board and leave the company at the end of June the following year.

The 64-year-old has focused on the recent relocation of Shell’s headquarters from The Hague to London, as well as the energy crisis that gripped the world in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Following the coronavirus pandemic and plunging energy demand in early 2020, Shell cut its dividend, which at the time was the world’s largest by $15 billion, for the first time since World War II.

But in July, the company posted record results, with second-quarter profit of $11.5 billion, breaking the mark it had set just three months earlier. read more

“Investors will seek assurance on dividend protection and renewables strategy,” said Hargreaves Lansdowne analyst Sophie Lund-Yates.

Shell’s London-listed shares, which have risen more than 44% in value so far this year, were up slightly in early trading.

Sawan’s appointment is effective from January 1.

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Reporting by Yadrisa Shabong, Pushkala Aripaka, Mohammed Hussain in Bengaluru and Shadiya Nasralla in London; Editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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