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Shell Plans to Retain Four Senior BG Executives After Merger

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By Javier Blas: November 16, 2015

  • BG COO Sami Iskander to join Shell as head of joint ventures

  • Shell to retain head of BG trading business Steve Hill

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Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to retain four senior executives from BG Group Plc after the merger between the two oil and gas groups completes next year, according to an internal memo sent on Monday.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after Shell revealed organizational changes as it prepares for its biggest ever takeover, valued at $70 billion when it was first disclosed in April.

In the internal memo, Shell said BG Chief Operating Officer Sami Iskander will become executive vice president for joint ventures once the merger completes. Steve Hill, currently BG’s head of trading, will become executive vice-president for gas and energy marketing and trading at the combined group, while Tom Melbye Eide, BG’s general counsel, will be Shell’s general counsel for upstream.

Katie Jackson, currently BG’s head of strategy and business development, will also join Shell in a role to be announced later. Three other members of BG’s executive committee would work for the transition team “for a period post completion of the recommended combination,” according to the memo.

The memo didn’t mention BG Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund or Chief Financial Officer Simon Lowth.

Shell confirmed the contents of the internal memo, declining to comment further. BG also confirmed the first three appointments.

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant said earlier this month it plans to run its natural gas business as a “stand-alone organization” led by Maarten Wetselaar, who will become integrated gas director and a member of the executive committee. The purchase of BG will deepen Shell’s exposure to natural gas and give it access to oil fields in Brazil.

Shell has defended the takeover despite low oil and gas prices, saying in early November it would still deliver value to investors even in a prolonged downturn. The company said Nov. 3 that it will save an additional $1 billion in operating costs from the combination with BG, bringing the total estimate of synergies from the deal to $3.5 billion.

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