Unilever has announced the appointment of Hein Schumacher as its new chief executive officer, following an extensive, global search process. Hein will replace Alan Jope, who announced in September 2022 his intention to retire from Unilever.
Hein is currently chief executive officer of the global dairy and nutrition business Royal Friesland Campina and became a non-executive director of Unilever in October last year. He will begin as Unilever's chief executive officer on 1 July 2023, after a one-month handover period.
Hein is a business leader with an excellent track record across multiple leading companies in the consumer goods industry. As chief executive officer of Royal FrieslandCampina, an 11 billion euros turnover business operating in over 40 countries, he has delivered significant portfolio and organizational change as part of transforming it into a more focused, growth-driven, and sustainable business.
Before joining Royal FrieslandCampina as a chief financial officer in 2014, Hein worked for H.J. Heinz for over a decade – during a time of significant change at the company – across the US, Europe, and Asia. In his last four years at Heinz, he was based in China, where he led a turnaround of the Asia Pacific zone. Hein began his career in finance at Unilever before joining Royal Ahold NV.
Nils Andersen, chairman, Unilever said, “We are delighted to welcome Hein as our new Chief Executive, after an extensive, global search process. Hein is a dynamic, values-driven business leader who has a diverse background of experiences and an excellent track record of delivery in the global consumer goods industry. He has exceptional strategic capabilities, proven operational effectiveness, and strong experience in both developed and developing markets. The Board looks forward to Hein realizing the full potential of Unilever as a winning business that delivers long-term growth and value for all its stakeholders.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alan for his leadership of Unilever. The changes he has made to the company’s strategy, structure, and organization leave Unilever far better positioned for success. Alan will continue to lead Unilever until the end of June. He will be retiring after a tremendous 37-year career with our business.”
Hein said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead Unilever. It is a business with an impressive global footprint, a strong brand portfolio, a talented team, and an enviable reputation as a leader in sustainability. In my time serving on the Board, I have only become more convinced by the strength of Unilever’s fundamentals and its clear growth potential. I will be very focused on working with the Unilever team to deliver a step-up in business performance, as we serve the billions of people around the world who use its products every day.”
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