Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever said its CEO Paul Polman was retiring less than two months after a damaging row with shareholders, and would be replaced by the head of its beauty unit Alan Jope from January 1.
Polman’s exit comes after the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was forced to scrap a plan to move the company headquarters to the Netherlands in October, following an investor revolt.
Jope, 54, is the boss of the beauty and personal care division which is Unilever’s largest, accounting for almost half of group annual profits. He is also a former leader of its China business and has long been seen as a successor to Polman.
“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,” Jope said.