Dove-maker Unilever paves way for exit of veteran CEO Polman

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 25, 2017

Consumer goods giant Unilever has kicked off a race for one of the most coveted jobs in the industry beginning a search for a new chief executive as veteran boss Paul Polman prepares to step down.

Earlier this year, Unilever became a short-lived takeover target for Kraft Heinz (Swiss: KHC.SW - news), the American company behind some of the world's biggest-selling food brands.

The £115bn approach, which was backed by Warren Buffett, the multibillionaire "Sage of Omaha", fell apart less than 72 hours after it emerged, amid hostility from the Unilever board.

The search is now centred on preparing the Unilever board for the transition process, but a succession will ultimately be led by company chairman Marijn Dekkers.

The company is also expected to shake up its corporate structure as Brexit approaches, by moving to a single Dutch headquarters.

Possible internal candidates from the company to succeed Polman could include finance director Graeme Pitkethly, although an extensive global search is likely to be carried out, Sky News said.

Unilever and Egon Zehnder declined to comment on the report.

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