Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman to retire on December 31, 2018

Paul Polman will be succeeded by Alan Jope, the head of Unilever’s beauty business.

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever stated, its CEO Paul Polman will now be retiring. The move comes less than two months after the company had a damaging row with shareholders. Polman will be replaced by Alan Jope, the head of Unilever’s beauty business from January 1.

Polman’s exit comes in the wake of a plan to move the company’s headquarters to the Netherlands. Shareholders revolted against the move.

Unilever said that Jope, 54, the boss of its largest division, had been appointed after “a rigorous and wide-ranging selection process”.

Polman would stay on for six months to support Jope’s transition into the role, said Unilever.

Polman has served Unliver for a decade and has generated big returns for shareholders. He also fought off a $143 billion takeover bid from Kraft-Heinz in 2017.

Polman said he was confident that Unilever would prosper under Jope.

“His (Jope’s) appointment demonstrates the strength of Unilever’s succession planning and talent pipeline,” said Polman.

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