Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) has selected Ben van Beurden, the company's downstream director, to take over the helm of the oil and gas company from current CEO Peter Voser, effective Jan. 1, the company's board of directors announced today.

Voser, will have been with Shell for 29 years when he leaves the company at the end of March, 2014. Van Beurden, 55, joined Shell in 1983. He has worked in the company's "upstream" segments, which are engaged in the exploration, recovery, and transportation of oil and natural gas, as well as Shell's "downstream" segment, which is responsible for the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of its products. He's been downstream director since January.

"Van Beurden's selection came after a comprehensive assessment and review of internal and external candidates led by the Board Nomination and Succession Committee," board of directors Chairman Jorma Ollila said in the company's announcement.

link

Fool contributor Dan Radovsky has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.