Shell Australia announces new chair

Zoe Yujnovich returns to Australia to chair Shell. Image: Twitter

Shell Australia executive vice president oil sands Zoe Yujnovich will leave her current role in Calgary to take up a new position as chairman of the Shell companies.

Zoe will relocate to Shell’s Australian office in Perth to replace incumbent chairman Andrew Smith, who will become executive vice president for trading and supply, based in London, starting in May this year.

Ms Yujnovich will manage operations in Australia and New Zealand, as well as assume responsibility as Country Chair, and said she is eager to return to Australia and further Mr Smith’s legacy at Shell.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Prior to joining Shell in 2014, Ms Yujnovich held frontline and management roles in mining across three continents. She also worked at Rio Tinto after securing an engineering degree from the University of Western Australia. During her tenure at Rio Tinto, her roles included company president in Brazil and CEO of the Iron Ore Company of Canada.

Mr Smith began his career at the Geelong Refinery, and will return to London to oversee Shell’s global trading and shipping activities.

Mr Smith said that the years since he returned from London in 2010 had 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,” he said.

“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.”

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