Shell Appoints Former BHP CEO as Next Chairman

Sarah HallamPeople on the Move
Shell HQ

Outside of Shell's headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. Editorial credit: DCStockPhotography /

Royal Dutch Shell announced on Thursday that mining industry veteran Andrew Mackenzie will lead as its next chairman. Mackenzie, who was the former CEO of the BHP Group, was tapped to lead the company in its shift away from oil and gas to low-carbon energy.

He is succeeding Charles Holliday, who is stepping down on May 18 after serving as chairman for six years.

Mackenzie spent the past six years serving as CEO at BHP, an Australian-based mining company, and just recently joined Shell’s Board of Directors in October 2020. Earlier in his career, he spent three years at the mining company Rio Tinto, following 22 years at BP, where he held several senior roles in oil and gas exploration, research and development, and petrochemicals.

His appointment comes at a time where the oil industry is grappling with its transition away from fossil fuels into more sustainable energy practices. Shell is also coming off a year that forced it to cut its dividend for the first time since World War II.

On top of navigating the oil giant’s transition to low-carbon energy, Mackenzie will also likely lead a search for a successor to CEO Ben van Beurden, who has served in the role since 2014.

"It is a privilege to be appointed Chair of this great Company, particularly at such a pivotal time for the industry and wider society,” Mackenzie said in a statement. “I believe Shell has an exceptional portfolio of future-facing assets and I look forward to working with Ben van Beurden and the Board to profitably accelerate Shell’s transition into a net-zero emissions energy business that continues to generate substantial value for shareholders, customers and communities alike.”


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