In March 2005, Hugh was appointed human resources director of Shell and became a member of the executive committee in October 2007.

Hugh graduated from Edinburgh University, with an MA (Hons) in Modern History in 1979. Later that year he joined human resources in Shell Exploration & Production in Aberdeen. 
In 1997 he became human resources vice president for the Global Oil Products business. Hugh moved to Shell headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, in 2003 as director international. His responsibilities included co-ordinating the company’s worldwide government relations activities.

Hugh joined the Board of Edinburgh Business School in October 2014