Unilever Names Insider Alan Jope as CEO to Succeed Polman
(Bloomberg) -- Unilever named Alan Jope, head of its beauty and personal care division, to succeed Paul Polman as CEO. The new chief will take over on Jan. 1.
- Polman will support the transition in the first half of 2019, the company said.
- Jope, 54, is somewhat of a surprise choice to run the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, as market speculation had focused on other internal candidates.
- The appointment of Jope, who’s sought to increase Unilever’s profitability by assembling a division called Prestige through acquisitions of high-end skin-care brands such as Ren and Dermalogica, comes at a time when the consumer goods industry is under pressure to widen its margins
- Jope used to run the company’s China operations, whose performance under the CEO-in-waiting has received praise from Polman, who is 62. The executive also has experience in the company’s food arm, giving him knowledge of both of its key business areas.
- Analysts had said that scrapping plans to consolidate Unilever’s headquarters in the Netherlands, following dissent from some U.K. shareholders, could accelerate Polman’s departure.
- Unilever shares rose 4.8 percent to 49.20 euros so far this year, compared with a 4.6 percent decline in Amsterdam’s benchmark AEX index.
- Read the statement here
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