Nov 29, 2018

Unilever chief Paul Polman to step down

Unilever chief executive Paul Polman will step down in January, bringing an end to a decade at the helm of the consumer products giant months after he lost a bruising fight with shareholders over moving its headquarters out of London. Mr Polman's attempt to simplify Unilever's Anglo-Dutch corporate structure, by consolidating its headquarters in Rotterdam, exposed tensions between the company's leading duo - the chief executive and chairman, fellow Dutchman, Marijn Dekkers - and UK shareholders. In earlier years, the power sharing at Unilever meant that the chairman and chief executive roles tended to be divided among Dutch and Anglo executives. The departure of Mr Polman, a prominent advocate of so-called multi-stakeholder capitalism that requires companies to be conscious of their wider impact, signals an end of an era at Unilever. In a further sign that Unilever is seeking continuity, the company said that chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly would be staying at the company.

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