Alan Jope new Unilever CEO as Paul Polman steps down

Alan Jope is the new CEO at British-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever. He succeeds Paul Polman, who steps down a bit earlier than expected. It is unlikely that it is a coincidence that the company chooses a British CEO.


Turbulent period

Polman steps down on New Year's Eve, but remains on board for six months in order to ensure a smooth transition. The Dutchman was CEO since 2009 and pressed for sustainable growth and a simplified company structure with its headquarter solely in the Netherlands. However, he now leaves a company that has voted against leaving the United Kingdom and against his long-term plans, preferring to keep the dual structure. With his successor coming from the United Kingdom, it is very unlikely that the company would leave London any time soon.


Jope started working at Unilever in 1985, when he was just 21 years old. Currently he presides over Unilever's biggest branch Beauty & Personal Care, famous for brands like Axe and Dove. His international experience is extensive and stems from jobs in Africa, America, Asia and Europe. "Having worked for Unilever in a variety of senior management roles, Alan has a deep understanding and experience of our business, the industry, and the markets in which we operate. He is a strong, dynamic and values-driven leader with an impressive track record of delivering consistent high-quality performance", the company states in a press release.