Shell elects new Australian chairman

Oil giant Shell informed on Friday that Zoe Yujnovich will succeed Andrew Smith as chairman of the Shell companies in Australia from April 1, 2017.

Smith will take up the position of Executive Vice President Trading & Supply from May this year. Thirty years after starting his career at Geelong Refinery, Smith will return to London to assume responsibility for all of Shell’s trading and shipping activities globally.

An Australian, Zoe Yujnovich will relocate to Shell’s Australian headquarters in Perth to assume both Smith’s Executive Vice President Australia & New Zealand position and responsibility as Country Chair.

Yujnovich is currently Executive Vice President Oil Sands based in Calgary. Prior to joining Shell in 2014, she held frontline and management roles in mining across three continents. She joined Rio Tinto in 1996, after obtaining an engineering degree from the University of Western Australia, where she held roles including company president in Brazil and CEO of the Iron Ore Company of Canada.

Smith said: “The years since I returned from London in 2010 have transformed Shell’s 116 year old business in Australia.  Consistent with Shell’s global strategy to simplify its portfolio and only invest in the most compelling projects we went about reshaping the business. We took the difficult decisions to sell the refining business, including the profitable retail division, moved our upstream business into operatorship – through the acquisition of QGC and progress of the Prelude floating LNG project – and saw first gas flow from Gorgon LNG.

“Today Shell’s Australian portfolio is a globally significant LNG export business that will continue to make a tangible contribution to Australia’s economy. As an Australian I am proud the business I have led is a massive part of Shell’s world-class investment case.”

“I am very pleased to welcome Zoe back to Australia, her leadership in Shell’s Canadian business has been instrumental to improving both the economic and environmental performance of this complex business.”

Yujnovich said: “Andrew has left Shell’s business in Australia in a strong position, as we continue to build a viable export business while meeting the demands of local customers. I’m particularly excited about continuing to leverage the strong businesses we have in Australia and getting even closer to our customers as their needs and our industry continue to evolve.”

“Andrew has been a strong voice in consistently calling for the kind of regulatory reform that makes Australia a country that can attract investment in job creating projects – particularly outside the prosperous capitals in regional areas.

“I look forward to building on his legacy both by running Shell safely and efficiently, but also by being an active voice in the national debate.”

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