OIL giant Royal Dutch Shell has named Peter Voser as its next chief executive.
Mr Voser, who is the group’s chief financial officer, will take up the position when Jeroen van der Veer retires at the end of June.
Yesterday’s news came less than 24 hours before Shell unveiled its latest quarterly profits, which are expected to exceed £4.5billion.
Shell is certain to come under attack for the huge sums of money it is making.
The appointment of Mr Voser, who is 50 and first worked for the company in 1982, ends more than a year of speculation about Mr van der Veer’s successor.
Linda Cook, the American head of Shell’s gas and power business, had been seen as a potential replacement, along with Malcolm Brinded, the Briton responsible for heading up Shell’s exploration and production unit.
Royal Dutch Shell chairman Jorma Ollila said Mr Voser’s selection had come after a comprehensive assessment and review of internal and external candidates.
He added: “Peter has the experience, qualities and personal leadership to drive Shell forward, building on the strong position established by Jeroen van der Veer.”
Mr Voser performed a variety of roles for Shell in Switzerland, Argentina, Chile and the UK before moving to engineering firm ABB as chief financial officer in 2002.
He returned to Shell four years ago.
Mr van der Veer, who will retire aged 61, joined the group in 1971. He was the first chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell after the unification of the firm in 2005.