Shell executive Mark Gainsborough will step down later this year after almost four decades with the Anglo-Dutch supermajor.

Gainsborough, currently executive vice president of New Energies, made the announcement on social media.

In April, Gainsborough will be replaced by Elisabeth Brinton, who joined Shell in 2018.

Gainsborough gave no details of the reasons behind his decision to leave Shell, but said on his LinkedIn page that he is “ looking forward to contributing to the energy transition in new ways in the next few years”.

Gainsborough set up Shell's New Energies four years ago as the supermajor started facing heavy investor pressure to meet emissions targets set forth in the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit global warming.

Shell has been widely credited with taking a lead in the energy transition, spending $1 billion to $2 billion a year globally on an array of "green" energy investments including offshore wind, off-grid solar, electric-vehicle (EV) charging networks, clean hydrogen, battery-based virtual power plants and blockchain peer-to-peer energy trading.

The company made a number of large investments in renewable energy, electric vehicle technologies and power markets under Gainsborough, including acquisitions of British utility First Utility, European electric vehicle battery charging firm NewMotion and a stake in US solar power provider Silicon Ranch.

“It is time for a transition of a different kind! After an amazing 39 years with Shell and almost four years leading our New Energies business, I will end my Shell career later this year. I’m looking forward to contributing to the energy transition in new ways in the next few years. Congratulations to Elisabeth Brinton , who takes the reins from April 1st, and a huge thank you to everyone for all we have achieved together,” Gainsborough said on LinkedIn.

Brinton will take over 1 April and will oversee Shell’s plans to expand its low-carbon and power business.

A Silicon Valley and utility industry veteran, Brinton is currently vice president for strategy at New Energies, according to her LinkedIn page.