Jatoil appoints former Shell exec to CEO

By Ryan C. Christiansen | January 15, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 6, 2009, at 9:24 a.m. CST

Australia-based Jatoil Ltd. has announced the appointment of former Royal Dutch Shell PLC executive Dr. Phil Hodgson as chief executive officer. Dr. Mike Taverner, who has served as executive chairman since January 2008, will continue as non-executive chairman. Hodgson joined the Jatoil board in October 2008 as a non-executive director.

A chemical engineer with a doctorate from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, Hodgson held numerous roles at Shell covering refinery supply, economics and planning, as well as risk management for a major fuels portfolio. He also gained sales and general management experience.

"(Phil) has excellent insight into ways that Jatoil can position itself to access the mainstream fuel markets and to develop strategic alliances that will propel us to the next phase," Taverner said.

Jatoil is focused on developing Jatropha curcas as a biodiesel feedstock. The company is investing in jatropha oil production in Vietnam and is investigating acquisitions in other parts of Asia, including in the Philippines.

"Agricultural businesses such as jatropha naturally take time to mature," Hodgson said, "but it makes good strategic sense to build the links in the supply chain early. This is an area many companies embark upon too late."
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