Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser is stepping down in an unexpected move. Voser will retire from the company in the first half of 2014. He said he made the decision as he felt it was time for a "change in my lifestyle." Shell said it will consider both internal and external candidates to replace Voser. Shares of Shell have climbed nearly 50% since Voser became CEO in July 2009. The news comes as Shell reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit that rose 3% from a year ago to $7.5 billion. The results were driven by improved profit margins in the company's refining and marketing unit. "These results were underpinned by Shell's growth projects, an improvement in downstream profitability, and were delivered despite a difficult security environment in Nigeria," Voser said. Looking ahead, Voser said there continues to be "significant" energy price volatility in the industry due to economic and political challenges.
Ford ( F) is planning to invest $1.1 billion on plant expansion and also create thousands of new jobs.