Nov 24, 2017

Unilever starts search for successor to Paul Polman

Unilever has begun the search for a successor to chief executive Paul Polman, the flag-bearer of corporate sustainability who this year fended off a $143bn takeover bid from Kraft Heinz. Mr Polman, who has steered the consumer goods group since 2009, has told the Financial Times that he intends to remain in his post throughout 2018. This year's approach from Kraft Heinz, while swiftly rebuffed, has forced Mr Polman to inch towards the tactics of the US company's private equity backers at 3G Capital, who have set new standards of profitability in the consumer goods industry. Mr Polman was paid €8.4m last year, 20 per cent less than in 2015. It made Unilever vulnerable to Kraft Heinz, which had intended to use it to help finance its proposed takeover.

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