Many in the industry had widely expected that either Linda Cook, Shell’s director of gas and power, or Malcolm Brinded, the exploration and production head, would be promoted to the top position.

Voser joined Shell in 1982 and has held a number of finance and business roles in Switzerland, Argentina, Chile and the UK until March 2002.

He then resigned to join engineering company ABB as chief financial officer, before returning to Shell as its head of finance in 2004.

Van der Veer and Brinded were part of the new management team brought in following the scandal over the group withholding information about its reserves in 2004.