Shell Chemicals Leadership Team

Graham van't Hoff, UK Country Chair
Graham van't Hoff

Executive Vice President Shell Chemicals

Graham joined Shell in 1984 after obtaining a degree in Chemistry from Oxford, and later obtained a Masters in Business Management, with Distinction, from Manchester Business School.

After a spell in Corporate Planning in Shell Oil Company in the US he returned to Europe in 1995 as European Marketing Manager for Chemical Solvents and then as Global Vice President, Polystyrene where, subsequently, Graham led the divestment of these businesses in 2000.

Graham then took over the role of Director - Customer Fulfilment Centre of Excellence before becoming Chief Information Officer for Shell Chemicals. In this role he oversaw the globalisation of IT, including the implementation of the first global SAP system in Shell. He then became Shell International's Director of IT Strategy and Applications Development where he developed and led the project to restructure IT across the Shell Group.

Graham took up the assignment as Vice President Base Chemicals Europe and member of the Chemicals Leadership Team on 1 February 2005, adding the role of General Manager Shell Chemicals Europe BV on 1 March 2006, based in The Netherlands. In mid-2008, Graham was appointed Global Vice President Base Chemicals, returning to the UK at the beginning of 2009, before being appointed as Chairman Shell UK on 1 May 2011 and later that year also Executive Vice President, CO2 and Alternative Energies.

On 1 January 2013 Graham was appointed to his current role as Executive Vice President, Shell Chemicals.

Graham has previously been Chairman of the Lensbury Club, the ex-Shell Leisure and Conference Centre, and on the board of the Shell Contributory Pension Fund. He has also been on the CBI Presidents Committee, the CBI Climate Change Board, the Board for Race for Opportunity, and the Advisory Boards for the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability and the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Envrionment. Graham is now on the Cefic Board and Executive Committee and Board of the charity Youth at Risk.

Graham and his wife, who also works for Shell, have four children.

Andy Rae - Vice President Operations and HSSE
Andy Rae

Vice President Europe/Africa & Global Excellence

Andy Rae took up the position of Vice President Europe/Africa & Global Excellence, effective January 1, 2017, based in the Netherlands.

Prior to this, Andy was Vice President, Operations and HSE for the global Chemicals business since 2014.

After graduating in Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University, Andy joined Shell in 1987 at Stanlow Refinery, working in technology and economics/scheduling.

Between 1993 and 2000 he held various roles in Oil Products Supply and Distribution, including Distribution Manager Central and Eastern Europe, where he managed road transport operations in the region during a period of rapid business growth. In 2000 he became General Manager of Shell in Gibraltar, responsible for all Oil Products activity, including a substantial Marine fuels business.

In 2002 he was appointed Supply Chain Integration Manager, Rhine, managing value chain optimisation at the refinery/marketing/trading interface following the merger of Shell and Dea businesses. In 2005 he returned to manufacturing in Pernis refinery as Production Unit Manager.

Between 2007 and 2011 he was involved in a range of strategy and portfolio related projects, including value improvement work at the refining-Chemicals interface, and cost takeout activities for the divestment program across the Downstream business. His last role prior to joining Chemicals was as GM Refinery Margin Optimisation, where he led a global team in business improvement activities, with focus on day-to-day excellence in refinery margin optimisation and value hunting.

Andy is married to Helen, who is a professional photographer, and they have three sons. Andy’s hobbies and interests include rugby, music, and modern history.

Thomas casparie Vice President Base Chemicals
Thomas Casparie

Vice President Americas

Thomas Casparie, Vice President Americas, effective January 1, 2017, based in the US.

In his previous role Thomas was Vice President Operations & HSSE with global responsibility for Supply Chain, Logistics and Customer Centres, as well as activities in the areas of Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (HSSE).

Prior to that, he was General Manager, Retail Network Planning, with responsibility for strategy and planning for all Retail locations globally. He played a critical role in increasing Retail’s ability to grow in markets such as China, India, Russia and Indonesia and played a leading part in the development of the Retail Strategy 2015.

Thomas joined Shell in 1996 after graduating from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands with a degree in Theoretical Physics. His first role was Retail Loyalty & Marketing Project Manager in Shell Netherlands.

Subsequently, he moved to the UK where he held a variety of operational roles in the Retail business, such as Territory Manager for South East England and Category Manager for the Convenience Stores.

In 2001, Thomas moved back to the Netherlands to take on the role of Retail Network Planning & Real Estate Manager for Benelux & France and was responsible for a major restructuring of the retail assets in these countries. After this, he joined the Downstream Strategy and Portfolio group in London in 2003 and was responsible for strategy and portfolio projects across Europe.

In 2005, Thomas became the General Manager for the Dutch Retail Business.

Thomas is 41, married with two children and lives in London. He is a member of the Windsor Leadership Trust and plays an active role in the community as Trustee of the Camden Arts Centre. He also has a passion for cooking, music and football.

Alexander farina Quality Manager
Alexander Farina

General Manager Chemicals strategy

Alexander Farina joined Shell in 1990 with a Masters degree in chemical engineering from Munich's University of Technology to take up the role of Quality Manager and later Manufacturing Manager in Shell’s automotive supply venture in Germany.

Between 1994 and 2000 he worked in Shell’s elastomers business covering roles from research and development to marketing, including Global Business Manager for the Isoprene Rubbers Business. During this time he had postings in Brussels, London and Paris.

In 2000, Alexander was appointed venture manager of Shell’s e-business and technology venture capital fund before returning in 2003 to the chemicals business as Strategy Manager for the Phenol and Solvents business.

In 2006 he was appointed as Strategy Manager for Base Chemicals with the focus on restructuring the North American Base Chemicals Business.

Alexander was appointed General Manager Chemicals strategy in June 2009 and joined the Chemical Leadership Team. He is also responsible for Chemicals technology activities.

Alexander is married with two daughters. He lives near London and his hobbies include horse riding and skiing.

Barbara Blum Associate General Counsel, Chemicals
Barbara Blum

Associate General Counsel, Chemicals

Barbara Blum took up her role as Associate General Counsel responsible for Shell Chemicals worldwide legal affairs in May 2017. She heads up a multi-jurisdictional team which provides legal advice in all areas of Shell Chemicals business including commercial contracting and project development. 

Barbara qualified as a solicitor with Slaughter and May in London where she worked on commercial and financing transactions (including periods in Paris and Hong Kong) before moving to Allen & Overy to specialise in project financing. Barbara joined Shell in 1998 and did several roles in London supporting Shell Treasury, Shell Capital and then Gas & Power working on projects in India and Mexico. She was also seconded to Sakhalin Energy Investment Company as the lead lawyer on the Phase 2 project financing.

In 2007, Barbara moved to the Hague as Associate General Counsel for Gas & Power, Africa supporting project development and governance activities across Africa. She then joined Shell Trading in London to set up the legal team supporting gas, power and emissions trading as well as supporting the SILs global LNG marketing business. In 2012, Barbara moved to Lagos Nigeria to lead the legal teams in Nigeria and Gabon supporting the Upstream business.

Barbara is married to Dennis with three grown up step children. In her spare time she enjoys cinema, the opera and trying to keep fit.

Olivier Thorel - Vice President Global Intermediates.
Olivier Thorel

Vice President Asia, Ventures and New Business Development

Olivier joined Shell in 1990 after graduating from Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees and Universite Paris Dauphine in Paris (Mathematics, Science, Economics and Finance).

Olivier spent his first 7 years in Shell Chemicals France in business development, as a maintenance manager at the Berre petrochemicals site and as a Solvents sales manager based in Paris.

In 1997, Olivier moved to the Netherlands as product manager for Solvents in EU/AF. Three years later, he joined the Global Propylene Oxide (PO) and Polyurethane business in London as a Global Supply Manager, and in 2002 became Global Business Manager of that product line. In December 2006, Olivier moved to Lubricants as the GM for Global Base oils, Process oils and Waxes, managing the entire Base Oil value chain for Shell.

In January 2011, Olivier moved to Houston as the Vice President for Supply and Distribution North America, based in Houston, in charge of the Canadian and Central/Western US Fuels supply chain as well as the Crude and Products Pipelines business.

Since August 2013, Olivier has rejoined Shell Chemicals, based in Singapore, as the VP for Global Intermediates, complemented later by the oversight for Chemicals Joint Ventures. Following a realignment of senior roles in the Chemicals business in January 2017, Olivier has now accountabilities for the entire Chemicals business in Asia, the Chemicals Joint Ventures and New business Development. He is also the chairman of the Infineum JV board.

Olivier is French, married and father of four children aged 26 to 18. He originates from Corsica and is a passionate skier. He enjoys spending most of his leisure time with his family and outdoor activities.

Matthew Kimball - Vice President Human Resources
Matthew Kimball

Vice President Human Resources

Matthew Kimball joined Shell on 1 February 2014 as Vice President, Human Resources for the company’s Chemicals business, based in London.

Prior to this, Matthew enjoyed a successful 13-year career with Merck & Co. Inc. (MSD), one of the world’s leading health solution providers of prescription medicines, vaccines, biologics therapies, animal health, and consumer healthcare products. Through various significant HR executive roles in Australia, the US, Singapore and the Netherlands, he provided HR leadership for start-up operations, divestitures and mergers, and led Merck’s global HR transformation programme. 

Before moving to Merck, Matthew was a management consultant with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), where he specialised in human performance and change management, and led change programmes for major cultural, process and systems re-engineering initiatives, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Matthew worked with top-tier businesses across Australia and the US in the financial services, fast-moving consumer goods, energy and oil & gas sectors.

Matthew graduated in 1996 with an economics degree from the University of Canberra, Australia. While working for Accenture, he also obtained an MBA from the Australian National University. He is currently undertaking the INSEAD International Directors Programme leading to a certificate in Corporate Governance. 

An Australian national, Matthew is married with two daughters. He is a passionate follower of Australian rules football and enjoys playing tennis and cricket when time permits.

Oliver Capon, VP Finance
Oliver Capon

Vice President Finance

Oliver Capon graduated from Cambridge University with a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering and then spent 4 years at Arthur Andersen before joining Shell in 1997.

He started in an internal consultancy role before working in Shell Capital, initially as Controller then in a commercial role. He then moved to Houston as Finance Manager for Crude and Products trading in the Americas. He returned to Europe in 2007 as CFO for Shell Technology Ventures and then COO and Finance Manager for Shell Asset Management Company. In 2013 he moved to Australia to become Finance Manager for Australia and New Zealand, based in Perth.

In March 2016, Oliver joined Shell Chemicals as VP Finance.

Oliver is British, married and father of 3 children, aged 17 to 11. He was born in London and, while not looking after children, enjoys cooking and running.

Vice President Pennsylvania Chemicals
Hilary Mercer

Vice President Pennsylvania Chemicals

Hillary Mercer was appointed as Vice President Pennsylvania Chemicals on August 1, 2017.

Hilary was previously responsible for the Shell worldwide portfolio of integrated Gas Projects spanning Onshore and Floating LNG, Regassification and other gas related projects. She served as Executive Director for Shell’s Prelude project in, Geoje Island, South Korea and was instrumental in leading the project to successful sail-away.

Hilary joined Shell in the UK as a Maintenance Engineer at Stanlow refinery in 1987. In 1994, she moved to the Netherlands where she worked in concept engineering developing small scale LNG offerings. In 1997, she was appointed Lead Mechanical Engineer for Construction in Oman, after which she worked for Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd., first as the Commercial Manager for the project and later as Construction Manager and Project Director. She was appointed Technical Director for Iraq South Gas Venture in 2009, supported the utility project within Pearl GTL in 2010, and served as LNG Project Director at Arrow Energy where she grew the company from start-up to a competent operating and development organization.

Hilary has a degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University, is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is actively engaged in the promotion of engineering as a profession both within and outside Shell including encouraging greater female participation in the industry.

Hilary is married to Ian Rogers a Shell civil engineer and describes her outside interests as mountaineering, ski mountaineering and horse riding in truly remote locations around the globe.

Commercial Team Leaders

Regional Commercial General Managers




More in About Shell Chemicals

Our joint ventures

As well as operating a number of wholly-owned manufacturing facilities and marketing a broad range of base chemicals and intermediates through six product lines, Shell chemicals companies participate in a number of strategic joint ventures.

Our growth projects

We will invest in our existing world-scale plants, to further increase their capacity and efficiency. And we will pursue options to invest in the building of new large-scale plants.