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 is married and has four children.

Dennis Cheong
Dennis Cheong

Vice President Chemicals Asia-Pacific, Global Ventures & New Business Development

Dennis is responsible for managing Shell’s Chemicals business in Asia-Pacific, including joint venture businesses in the region principally in China and Singapore. He also has shareholder accountability for Shell’s global lubes and fuels additives joint venture Infineum and Chemicals new business development activities globally. Dennis was appointed to this role in January 2018 and is based in Singapore.

Dennis has more than 28 years of experience in Shell, with assignments in Singapore, London and Beijing spanning a wide range of functions and downstream businesses. Prior to his current appointment, Dennis was Vice President Lubricants Supply Chain, responsible for managing Shell’s base-oil business and the safe, reliable and efficient production and supply of lubricants and greases around the world to customers. Before that, he was Downstream Business Director in China, responsible for growing the downstream fuels business in China and led the development of a world-scale integrated refining, petrochemicals and fuels marketing JV project. Dennis has strong experience in global strategy development, both in Oil Products Manufacturing and Supply, and in Chemicals. Dennis spent the first 15 years of his Shell career in the Chemicals business, in a broad range of commercial jobs across most of the Chemicals product lines.

Prior to joining Shell, he spent 7 years working for the Singapore government in public policy administration.

Dennis is from Singapore and has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Australia.

Dennis is married with 3 children. In his spare time, he enjoys nature, travel and jazz music.

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 Chemicals Americas

Thomas Casparie was appointed Vice President Chemicals Americas per January, 1st 2017 and in this role he is accountable for overseeing the Americas region of Royal Dutch Shell’s Chemicals business. This role provides strategic oversight, leadership and accountability for safety, commercial business and operations results. Additionally, this role is responsible for strategic leadership of Shell Chemicals’ regional ambitious growth strategy.

Prior to his current role, Thomas was Vice President for Global Base Chemicals & New Business Development from February 1, 2014 and before that Vice President for Chemicals Operations where he had responsibility for supply, logistics, customer centres and HSSE. Thomas has been a part of Shell’s Chemicals Leadership Team since June 2012.

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 held a variety of commercial, operational and marketing roles in the Retail business and in 2005, Thomas became the General Manager for the Dutch Retail Business. Before joining Chemicals, Thomas 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.

Thomas is 44 years old, married with two children and currently living in Houston. Although originally from the Netherlands, the family considers London (UK) home. He is a member of the Windsor Leadership Trust and plays an active role in the community through various roles in the Arts scene. He also has a passion for cooking, music and soccer.

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.

Shawn Cotton - Vice President Human Resources
Shawn Cotton

Vice President Human Resources

Shawn Cotton was appointed on August 15, 2017 as Vice President, Human Resource – Chemicals, based in Houston.

Shawn joined Shell in 1993 as an HR intern and started work full time in 1994 as an HR Analyst at the Shell Chemical Geismar Plant. He later transferred to California and worked as an HR Representative at the Martinez Refinery then moving to Supply & Distribution in Chicago. In 2001, he became HR Account Manager for the US Northeast Retail Region, based in Boston, and subsequently progressing to become HR Manager for North American Retail, in Houston, whereby he lead the transformation of the business from a direct to a wholesale retail model. 

In 2009, he transitioned to the Upstream side of RDS and became VP HR Policy, Processes and Systems for Upstream Americas supporting the various US based upstream businesses from a HR policy perspective.

In 2014, he transferred to The Hague and was appointed as VP HR Upstream International Exploration/Commercial. In this role, he provided HR leadership for the globalization of the Exploration business before moving to London and being appointed to the newly created global role as VP HR Exploration. In this role, he provided HR leadership for Exploration during the acquisition of British Gas.

Shawn has twin daughters, Max & Alex. When not spending time with his daughters, Shawn enjoys running, cooking and eating out.

Vice President Pennsylvania Chemicals
Hilary Mercer

Vice President Pennsylvania Chemicals

Hilary 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.