Marketer to take over as Unilever boss as CEO Paul Polman steps down

Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman will retire at the end of this year after a decade at the helm of one of the world’s biggest FMCG companies.

Marketer Alan Jope, who is currently president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division, will take over from Polman as CEO at the beginning of next year. 

Polman joined Unilever as CEO in 2009. He is a former Procter & Gamble president for Western Europe and has worked at Nestle as CFO and vice-president for the Americas.

He has been widely recognised for his business leadership related to sustainable development, while under his leadership Unilever has increased its focus on the premium beauty market.

The move comes shortly after Unilever’s plan to change its dual-ownership structure and move its HQ to the Netherlands was scrapped. Unilever currently splits the business between London and Rotterdam but the company said the proposal, which Polman spearheaded, would make it more competitive and safer from hostile takeovers. However, fierce criticism form UK investors forced him to abandon the idea.

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