Unilever CEO Alan Jope to retire by the end of 2023
Unilever CEO Alan Jope will step down as head of the company at the end of 2023. Jope informed the board that he will then enter retirement just before he turns 60. A hunt for his successor is now underway. The Scottish man has been at the helm of the company since the beginning of 2019.
The announcement comes after Unilever’s failed bid earlier this year to acquire GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) consumer arm in a deal worth billions. That company produces many consumer products, including Advil painkillers and Sensodyne toothpaste. The takeover plan was heavily criticized by shareholders.
Unilever was also under intense pressure this year to achieve better results. According to some critics, the company would be better off splitting up.
Unilever chair Nils Andersen praised Jope. "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."
Jope started working for the laundry and food group in 1985. Before taking over the top job, he was the President of the Beauty & Well-being and Personal Care Division. He also held leadership positions for other parts of the company in North America, China and Russia, Africa and the Middle East, and elsewhere. Under Jope’s tenure, Unilever became a wholly British company on paper.
“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,” Jope said in a statement.
The company employs 148,000 people globally, including 2,500 in the Netherlands.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times