“It has been an honour to lead Unilever over the last 10 years. Throughout this time, I have been humbled by the commitment and hard work of our people, and their passion for creating a truly purpose-driven company,” he said.
“I am very grateful to them, as I am to Unilever’s many other stakeholders, with whom we have worked to build our long-term, sustainable business. I look forward to engaging with many of these partners — in a different capacity — to help address the many environmental and social challenges facing the world.”
Unilever said Alan Jope, president of the Beauty and Personal Care division, will be appointed as chief executive beginning Jan. 1. He has been with the company for more than 30 years.
“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.
“I’d also like to extend my gratitude to Paul for his remarkable leadership of Unilever and look forward to working closely with him during the transition.”
Polman is expected to assist with the transition of leadership through early July.