Holliday becomes Royal Dutch Shell Chairman

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Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has appointed former Chairman of Bank of America and DuPont, Mr. Charles Holliday, to take over from Mr. Jorma Ollila, as Chairman.

Ollila will step down from the board.

Holliday will take up the new post after Shell’s 2015 annual general meeting, subject to shareholder approval.

Holliday had stepped down as Chairman of Bank of America in September, but remains on the board.

He joined DuPont as an engineer in 1970, and was Chief executive of the company from 1998 to 2009, and Chairman from 1999 to 2009.

Ollila, a former Chairman and Chief Executive at Nokia, reportedly said that he was “delighted” Holliday had been appointed.

Meanwhile, Shell said that profits in the third quarter rose to $5.27 billion from $4.25 billion a year earlier.

Shell said that its quarterly earnings for oil exploration, refining and trading had improved, after one-off charges were stripped out.

Its upstream business, which searches for and extracts oil and gas, saw earnings jump to $4.34 billion from $3.46 billion from the previous year.

The downstream division, which includes the parts of Shell that refine and trade crude oil, recorded earnings of $1.79 billion, up from $892 million in the same period last year.

Oil prices have dropped by more than 20 per cent over the past four months.

Prices have been trading at near four-year lows of around $85 a barrel as a result of slowing demand, particularly in China, and ample supplies.

Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said that the recent drop in oil prices was “part of the volatility” of the industry which “underlines the importance of our drive to get a tighter grip on performance management, keep a tight hold on costs and spending, and improve the balance between growth and returns.”

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