THE HAGUE, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Unilever CEO Paul Polman retires after ten years at the helm of the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company, Unilever announced on Thursday.
Scotsman Alan Jope, currently president of the Beauty and Personal Care department, has been appointed as successor of the Dutchman, starting on Jan. 1, 2019. During the first half year of 2019 Polman will support his successor in his new job.
"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," reacted Unilever chairman Marijn Dekkers in a press release. "He leaves a more agile and resilient company, well placed to win in this fast-changing, dynamic industry."
In October this year Polman suffered a loss when Unilever, pressured by a group of especially British shareholders, abandoned the plan to continue with one headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, leaving London as headquarters.
In March Unilever, producer of among other brands, Lipton tea, Dove soap, Axe deodorant and Magnum and Ben and Jerry's ice cream, had announced that it intended to change from two legal entities into one single legal entity, incorporated and tax-resident in the Netherlands, with Rotterdam as single headquarters. Polman was a supporter of the plan to move to Rotterdam and the cancellation was a defeat for him.
New CEO Jope has to definitely solve the issue whether to change into one legal entity and the issue of the location of the new headquarters. The 54-year-old Jope led Beauty and Personal Care, Unilever's largest division, since 2014, and had joined the company as a graduate marketing trainee in 1985.
"It will be a huge privilege to lead Unilever," Jope said. "Our global footprint includes strong positions in many important markets for the future and our focus will remain on serving our consumers, and our other multiple stakeholders, to deliver long-term growth and value creation."