Nov 14, 2019
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Unilever chairman Marijn Dekkers steps down

Nov 14, 2019

The chairman of consumer goods giant Unilever said on Wednesday he is stepping down after three years in the role. Marijn Dekkers will be leaving the company to focus on his responsibilities as founder and chairman of Novalis LifeSciences, an investment and advisory firm.


Dekkers was heavily criticised by investors last year for trying to move the company’s headquarters away from London, in a move that would have put an end to Unilever’s dual-headquarters structure.

The controversial plan was abandoned following an unprecedented rebellion from British investors who were concerned that the stock would drop out of the UK’s FTSE100.

Marijn Dekkers will hand over the reins at the consumer goods company to Nils Andersen, but will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

Dekkers said it was a “huge honour” to have served as chairman of Unilever.

“I am very proud of the work we continue to do as a truly purpose-driven company. My decision to step down has been a difficult one to make but I look forward to seeing Unilever go from strength to strength under Nils as chairman,” he said.

Unilever’s new chairman Nils Andersen has been with the company since 2015, serving on the board of directors and as a member of the audit committee. The Danish businessman was previously group CEO of transport company A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S and CEO of brewer  Carlsberg A/S and Carlsberg Breweries A/S.

He has also served as chairman of AkzoNobel N.V. and Salling Group A/S.

Commenting on his appointment, Nils Andersen said: “I am very proud to have been asked to succeed Marijn and I look forward to working with the board and the Unilever Leadership team to support the company’s continued growth.

Unilever has also a new chief executive officer since January, with Alan Jope becoming the top boss after Paul Polman announced his decision to retire. Jope, who was previously president of the company’s beauty & personal care division, has recently pledged to halve the amount of plastic the business produces over five years.

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