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Shell's Linda Cook to stand down in June

OIL giant Royal Dutch Shell said yesterday that Linda Cook, an executive who lost out on the battle for the top job at the company, was standing down from her role as head of its gas and power division.<br /><br />Cook&rsquo;s resignation comes ahead of current chief executive Jeroen van der Veer standing down on 1 July, to be replaced by chief financial officer Peter Voser. <br /><br />&ldquo;I am most grateful to Linda Cook for her many important contributions to the success of our company,&rdquo; van der Veer said. He added that Shell&rsquo;s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) capacity had risen by over 60 per cent under Cook.<br /><br />Analysts have said that Voser is looking for a fresh team at the top.<br /><br />&ldquo;As you would expect for a chief executive designate, he has a say in senior management development,&rdquo; Shell said. &ldquo;Voser is shaping up his team,&rdquo; it added.<br /><br />The company said Cook was leaving under mutual agreement to pursue other interests.<br /><br />She will leave the company on 1 June, but will be available to advise the department for an indefinite period, the company said. A successor has not been decided.<br /><br />Cook will forfeit her &pound;825,413 bonus, which she would have qualified for in 2011.<br /><br />Shell has been under fire for its remuneration policy, and shareholders have been questioning why van der Veer will still qualify for a bonus, despite standing down before it is due. He will leave under a cloud of bad publicity for the company, despite having restored some credit to Shell during his tenure.<br /><br />Meanwhile, a civil trial will begin today in New York, judging whether Shell was involved in the executions of protesters in Nigeria. Shell is accused of being connected to the hangings, which happened in 1995. Shell denies the allegations.