Ex-WWF board member is new Shell Chairman

Charles O Holliday, the former chair of Bank of America and one-time board member of environmental group WWF, is to be Shell’s new Chairman. It was announced today the 66-year-old will take […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Charles O Holliday, the former chair of Bank of America and one-time board member of environmental group WWF, is to be Shell’s new Chairman.

It was announced today the 66-year-old will take over in 2015 from Jorma Ollila who steps down after nine years. The appointment relies on Holliday being voted onto the board again.

A member of Shell’s board since September 2010, Charles or “Chad” Holliday was previously CEO of DuPont.

While at the helm of DuPont, he supervised the sale of some of its big petroleum-based brands such as Lycra and Teflon, describing this shift in the business towards renewable-plant based products as one of his toughest moments at the firm in an interview in 2012.

Holliday also touched on the challenge of changing public attitudes in climate change in the interview, arguing scientists need to be “cleverer than they are in communicating” compared with those who are “denying” climate change.

He led the UN’s Sustainable Energy 4 All (SE4ALL) Committee, where he has chaired talks on how to match finance up with renewable energy projects.

Mr Ollila hailed his successor’s “distinguished track record as an international businessman”.

Mr Holliday said: “I am honoured to be appointed Chairman of this great company and I look forward to working with [Chief Executive] Ben van Beurden and the whole Board to deliver the strategy.”

WWF’s President and CEO Carter Roberts described Holliday as a “distinguished leader in engaging the private sector on protecting the environment for decades”.

He said: “It’s been a great privilege having Chad on our Board and I will miss him as he moves to take on this new challenge.”

Cataloguing his efforts at ClimateWorks, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the UN’s SE4ALL scheme, the US Climate Action Partnership, WWF and at Dupont, Roberts added: “Chad brings immense integrity and great practical instincts to all he does”.

UPDATE: Mr Holliday is no longer a board member of WWF.