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.
Unilever Names Insider Alan Jope as CEO to Succeed Polman

Key Insights

  • 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.

Market Context

  • 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.

Get More

  • Read the statement here

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.