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LONDON -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc announced yesterday that Linda Cook, the company’s chief of gas, power and renewable energy, has resigned. The move comes shortly before new Chief Executive Peter Voser takes the helm in July, Dow Jones reported.
Cook and Shell's exploration and production chief Malcolm Brinded were in the running, along with Voser, to replace outgoing Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer. Voser was picked for the job—and Cook's resignation was an "inevitable consequence" of that process, NCB Stockbrokers analyst Peter Hutton said in the Dow Jones report.
The working relationship between Cook and Voser also may have had a bearing on her decision to leave, according to people familiar with the matter. "This is Voser shaping his management team" as he wants it before he takes over in July, said one source.
A Shell spokesman said Cook left the company by mutual agreement and, "will be available to advise the company on strategy and...ensure an orderly succession in gas and power."
"I am most grateful to Linda Cook for her many important contributions to the success of our company," van der Veer said in a statement. "Shell's LNG (liquefied natural gas) capacity has risen by over 60 percent in the last five years, with more to come."
Cook was unavailable for comment. She will forego a retention bonus of around EUR $1 million offered to her, Voser and Brinded ahead of the CEO selection last year.
Cook, 50, has been with Shell for 29 years, overseeing its largest single project—the Pearl gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar—and significant investments in liquefied natural gas. However, Shell recently said it will make no significant new investments in solar and wind energy, switching its focus instead to biofuels, which is led by Shell's oil products and refining division, according to the Dow Jones report.
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