Jope Appointed New Chief Executive At Unilever Following Polman Retirement

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Jope Appointed New Chief Executive At Unilever Following Polman Retirement

Alan Jope, the current president of Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care division, has been appointed the company’s new group chief executive, effective 1 January.

The move follows the announcement that current Unilever CEO Paul Polman has decided to retire from the business.

Polman, who has led Unilever for more than 10 years, has worked in consumer goods for more than four decades. 

He will retire from his position on 31 January, but will remain in a supporting role during a half-year leadership transition process.

Exceptional Leader

“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,” commented Unilever chairman Marijn Dekkers.


“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.”

New Blood

Jope, 54, has led Beauty & Personal Care, Unilever’s largest arm, since 2014 and has been on the company’s Leadership Executive since 2011.

He joined the company as a trainee in 1985, and has held a myriad of roles - he ran Unilever’s North Asia business for four years, served as President, Russia, Africa & Middle East, and spent over a decade in senior Foods, Home Care and Personal Care roles for Unilever US. 

“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,” said Dekkers.


“He is a strong, dynamic and values-driven leader with an impressive track record of delivering consistent high-quality performance.”

Commenting on his appointment, Dekkers added, “Over the 30 years I have worked at Unilever, I have seen the many ways in which our brands improve people’s lives, positively impacting more than 2 billion citizens every day.

“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.”

A successor to the role of president of Unilever Beauty & Personal Care will be announced shortly.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine

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