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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Alan Jope announces retirement date at Unilever

Alan Jope, Unilever’s CEO, has announced he will retire at the end of 2023. The company has already launched the search for his replacement.

In 1985, Jope strolled through the doors of Unilever’s London headquarters and began his first full day as a marketing trainee. Today, he calls time on what has been an impressive one company career.

Jope said: “As I approach my fifth year as CEO, and after more than 35 years in Unilever, I believe now is the right time for the Board to begin the formal search for my successor. Growth remains our top priority, and in the quarters ahead I will remain fully focused on disciplined execution of our strategy, and leveraging the full benefits of our new organisation.”

Aside from having led the company’s operations in North Asia and Africa, Jope spent more than a decade in senior Food, Home Care and Personal Care roles for Unilever in America.

He became Unilever CEO at the start of 2019, taking over from Paul Polman who had stepped down after a decade in charge of the Dove and Marmite manufacturer.

It has been an eventful ride since, to say the least.

In March 2020, Jope was one of the first multinational bosses to react to the pandemic, ordering the company’s 60,000 office workers in all countries, bar China, to work from home until further notice.

In the past 12 months, Unilever sold its tea business, comprising more than 30 leading brands, to CVC Capital Partners. In a company reshuffle, more than 1500 managers were laid off wordlwide. Unilever also copped significant shareholder criticism after making an unsuccessful £50 billion offer to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer unit.

Unilever Chairman Nils Andersen said: “Alan’s retirement next year will mark the end of a remarkable career with Unilever. Under his leadership, Unilever has made critical changes to its strategy, structure and organisation that position it strongly for success. This work continues, and we will thank Alan wholeheartedly for his leadership and contribution to our business when he leaves next year.”

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