Unilever poaches Paul Polman from Nestlé

Unilever has poached Nestlé executive vice-president and zone director for the Americas, Paul Polman, as its new group chief executive. Polman will replace Patrick Cescau when he retires at the end of this year.

Unilever has poached Nestle executive vice-president and zone director for the Americas, Paul Polman (pictured), as its new group chief executive. Polman will replace Patrick Cescau when he retires at the end of this year.

Polman’s departure from Nestle is effective immediately and he will be replaced by Luis Cantarell, who is currently leading the Europe zone.

Polman joined Nestle in 2006 at chief financial officer. Prior to that, he worked at Procter & Gamble for 26 years, where he held roles such as heading up the consumer goods giant’s US laundry and cleaning business.

During his time at P&G, where he held one of the most high-profile consumer marketing positions in Britain, he managed brands such as Daz, Pringles and Pampers. It was said at the time that he was seen as a possible future chief executive officer.

The Unilever board will propose Polman for the appointment to the board at an extraordinary general meeting this autumn.

Cescau has worked at Unilever for 35 years and has led the brand since 2004, initially as chairman and then as the company’s first chief executive.

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