She will be based in the UK and joins Castrol from The Chemours Company, where she was vice-president of global sales.
She also previously served as a non-executive director of Neste Oil.
Van de Kerkhof said she was attracted to Castrol by its “sustained record of technology and innovation leadership. I’m also very excited about taking on the challenges faced by the lubricants sector as we move to a lower carbon future.”
Castrol is part of the BP Group, which recently announced plans to build a new lubricants blending plant in China.
The $230m plant will mark BP’s single largest blending plant investment worldwide.
“China is a key growth market for premium lubricants,” said Mandhir Singh, Castrol chief executive. “The new plant not only marks another milestone in BP’s business development in the country but also reaffirms our commitment to long-term investment in China.”
Meanehile, Spanish engineering and technology group SENER has named Mercedes Sierra as its new chief executive in the US.
Sierra joined SENER in 1985 and in 2009 led the introduction of the company’s concentrated solar power business in the US. In 2012, she was appointed Head of Innovation, a position she now leaves to become chief executive.
She replaces Angel Ares, who has taken over the development of SENER’s systems infrastructure Design & Build business in the Rail and Transit Sector.