Schumacher, 51, joined Unilever in October last year as non-executive director and is currently the chief executive of Dutch dairy business FrieslandCampina.
The London-based company in September said that CEO Jope planned to retire at the end of 2023. Schumacher, who was formerly at Royal Ahold NV, also worked for H.J. Heinz for a decade across the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz, who heads investor Trian Partners, said he strongly supports Hein "as our new CEO and look(s) forward to working closely with him to drive significant sustainable stakeholder value."
Peltz become a Unilever board member in July after it was revealed early last year that he had built a stake in the company.
"I first met Hein when I served as a director at the H.J. Heinz Company from 2006 to 2013 and was impressed by his leadership skills and business acumen," Peltz said.
'Step-Up In Business Performance'
Commenting on his appointment, Schumacher said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead Unilever. It is a business with an impressive global footprint, a strong brand portfolio, a talented team and an enviable reputation as a leader in sustainability.
"In my time serving on the board, I have only become more convinced by the strength of Unilever’s fundamentals and its clear growth potential. I will be very focused on working with the Unilever team to deliver a step-up in business performance, as we serve the billions of people around the world who use its products every day.”