Unilever CEO Paul Polman to retire; head of beauty unit Alan Jope appointed as successor

Unilever CEO Paul Polman to retire on Dec 31, 2018

Unilever on Thursday announced that its CEO Paul Polman will retire from the company by December-end and the head of its beauty business Alan Jope will replace him.  Polman will retire as CEO and as a Board member on 31 December 2018. He will support the transition process in the first half of 2019 and will leave the company in early July.

 

Paul Polman has been Unilever CEO for over 10 years and has worked in the consumer goods industry for almost four decades. He was embroiled in a damaging row with shareholders early this year. The company was forced to scrap a plan to move the company headquarters to the Netherlands in October, following an investor revolt.

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During Polman’s tenure, the company has delivered consistent top and bottom line growth ahead of its markets. Its focus on successfully pioneering a new model of sustainable growth has served the needs of its many stakeholders and created excellent returns for its shareholders, delivering a Total Shareholder Return of 290% over that period.

Alan Jope, 54, is currently the President, Beauty & Personal Care and will takeover as the CEO from January 1, 2019. He has led Unilever’s largest Division, since 2014 and has been on the company’s Leadership Executive since 2011.  Alan joined the company as a graduate marketing trainee in 1985.

Unilever Chairman Marijn Dekkers said: “Paul is an exceptional business leader who has transformed Unilever, making it one of the best-performing companies in its sector, and one of the most admired businesses in the world. His role in helping to define a new era of responsible capitalism, embodied in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, marks him out as one of the most far-sighted business leaders of his generation.

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“Paul’s vision, drive and performance focus, combined with his commitment to serving the best long-term interests of the company, have materially strengthened Unilever. He leaves a more agile and resilient company, well placed to win in this fast-changing, dynamic industry. I’d like to thank him personally, and on behalf of the Board, for his contribution to Unilever.

“After a rigorous and wide-ranging selection process, the Board is delighted to appoint Alan to the role. Having worked for Unilever in a variety of senior management roles, Alan has a deep understanding and experience of our business, the industry, and the markets in which we operate. He is a strong, dynamic and values-driven leader with an impressive track record of delivering consistent high-quality performance. The Board warmly welcomes Alan to the role and wishes him every success.”

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