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Shell snaps up Nokia’s Ollila as chairman

Financial Times: Shell snaps up Nokia’s Ollila as chairman

“Investors reacted favourably to the announcement, with analysts saying that Shell had managed to make two impressive senior appointments amid a raft of bad news, from delayed projects and cost overruns to poorer-than-expected earnings.”

Friday 5 August 2005

By Carola Hoyos

Published: August 5 2005 03:00 | Last updated: August 5 2005 03:00

Shell, the world’s third largest energy group, yesterday tapped Jorma Ollila, the man who transformed Nokia from a little-known Finnish group into the world’s leading mobile phone maker, to be the non-executive chairman of its newly unified board.

Investors reacted favourably to the announcement, with analysts saying that Shell had managed to make two impressive senior appointments amid a raft of bad news, from delayed projects and cost overruns to poorer-than-expected earnings.

Many investors were pleased last year to see Peter Voser, chief financial officer, return to the group from ABB, the Swiss/ Swedish engineering company.

“This is very good news for Shell. It is an extremely aggressive move,” said one analyst who follows the company. He welcomed the fact that the Anglo-Dutch group had recruited a chairman who was not tied to the UK or the Netherlands and was a “talented and active businessman” rather than a politician.

The 54-year-old Finn will step down as chief executive of Nokia on June 1 and take over Shell’s non-executive chairmanship from Aad Jacobs on the same day. Mr Ollila will also become non-executive chairman of Nokia and continue as non-executive director of Ford Motor Company.

Lord Kerr, Shell’s deputy chairman and the man who led the search, said: “We were looking worldwide for a chairman with international standing, a global outlook and proven success in managing a complex organisation. In Jorma Ollila we found all these qualities, and more.”

Nokia said he would spend two to three days a week focusing on Shell. Shell is lagging its peers, such as the BP and Texas-based ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest energy group.

Additional reporting by Christopher Brown-Humes in London Shell to answer tax charges, Page 9 Mudlark, Page 19 Lex, Page 40 Background: www.ft.com/shell

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