Shell (LON: SHEL) chief executive Ben van Beurden is preparing to step down next year after almost a decade, according to Reuters.
The news agency, which has cited two company sources, says a shortlist of four candidates to replace the Dutchman has been drawn up by the oil supermajor.
During his time at the helm of Shell, Mr van Beurden has steered the London-listed supermajor through some choppy waters.
He oversaw the acquisition of BG Group in 2016, and rode out two major industry downturns, the most recent of which was sparked by Covid-19.
Mr van Beurden made the historic decision to cut the company’s dividend for the first time since the Second World War, a move that sent shockwaves around the oil and gas industry.
In recent years, he has also been a key cog in Shell’s drive to revolutionise its portfolio, with the company branching out into offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
Shell’s board succession committee, headed by chairman Andrew Mackenzie, has met several times in the last few months to draw up plans for Mr van Beurden’s departure and interview potential successors, Reuter’s sources said.
It is reported that the successor shortlist has been whittled down to Wael Sawan, Shell’s head of integrated gas and renewables, and Huibert Vigeveno, who heads the company’s refining operations of downstream.
Reuters says chief financial officer Sinead Gorman and head of upstream Zoe Yujnovich are also in the running.