Linda Cook joined Shell in Houston in 1980, and has been chief executive of Shell Gas & Power since 2000. She has also been a group managing director at the company.<br /><br />Born in Kansas City in 1958, Cook graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. She moved with her family to the Hague in 1998 to be a director of Strategy & Business Development, and is still based there today. The 50-year-old, who is a keen skier, has three children with her husband Steve. She was named one of the world’s most powerful businesswomen and is also the non-executive director at jet maker Boeing.<br /><br />One oil analyst praised her saying “she managed to succeed in a heavily male-dominated role and it is a surprise that she chooses to leave now without her bonus”. He added that she was a safe pair of hands to bring in during the reserves crisis.