November 29, 2018 / 11:38 AM / 7 months ago

Unilever CEO change not connected to HQ climbdown: chairman

Paul Polman, chief executive officer of Unilever Plc, attends the MEDEF union summer forum on the campus of the HEC School of Management in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris, France, August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - The replacement of Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman was not connected to a shareholder row earlier this year over a proposed move of the headquarters of the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company from Britain to the Netherlands, said the group’s chairman.

“The appointment of Alan Jope as the successor of Paul has nothing to do with the simplification process,” said Chairman Marijn Dekkers, referring to the company’s terminology for the HQ move.

Unilever said earlier on Thursday that Polman was retiring and would be succeeded in January by Alan Jope, the head of the Anglo-Dutch group’s beauty business.

Dekkers told reporters on a call that the board had started the process a year ago to find a successor after Polman had indicated he would want to retire.

Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle

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