Steve Miller, currently a group managing director, is succeeding Mark Moody-Stuart as chairman of the Shell Oil board of directors. Mr Miller, an American, is also succeeding Jack E Little as chief executive officer of Shell Oil Company, the group's US business.
At Shell's last results announcement Mr Moody-Stuart promised he would leave the company if the group's disappointing slide in profits was not reversed.
However, the oil giant insisted yesterday that Mr Miller's appointment was not a judgement on Mr Moody-Stuart, who is based in Europe, merely a recognition that the massive US market needs its own high-powered boss on the spot. Mr Miller, 53, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and joined Shell Oil in 1966 in Houston - where he is now returning with his new title.