HUL rejigs top deck, Paranjpe to replace Baillie as MD & CEO

Written by Corporate Bureau | Mumbai, Feb 28 | Updated: Feb 29 2008, 05:17am hrs
Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Indias largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, on Thursday announced key changes in its management committee. The company has appointed Nitin Paranjpe, now executive director, home & personal care (HPC), as the new managing director and chief executive officer. Douglas Baillie, the present managing director & CEO, will become president of Unilevers Western Europe operations. Baillie has been at the HUL helm from March 1, 2006.

Announcing the shuffle, Harish Manwani, chairman of HUL, said: The appointment of Nitin Paranjpe will be subject to approval of the shareholders in April this year. The changes reflect our strong commitment towards leadership development and our tradition of leveraging experiences and synergies of talent across markets. HUL stock closed up 0.11% at Rs 220.15 on the BSE on Thursday.

Parent Unilever too announced on Thursday several organisational changes. Building on the success of its One Unilever programme, the company would now combine HPC and foods into a single category structure. However, this will not have any impact on HUL, said Manwani.

To reflect Unilevers strategic focus on developing markets, Central & Eastern Europe will be managed within an enlarged region comprising Asia, Africa and Central & Eastern Europe while Western Europe will become a standalone region.

On the global front, Unilever announced key appointments: Kees van der Graaf will retire from the boards of Unilever and from his role as president Europe at the companys annual general meeting in May 2008 while Ralph Kugler, president HPC will step down at the AGM. Harish Manwani, currently president, Asia-Africa, will lead the new expanded region. The roles of president-HPC and president-foods will be merged under Vindi Banga, currently president-foods.

Patrick Cescau, group chief executive, Unilever, said: These measures build naturally on the changes of recent years and give us an organisational structure even better placed to advance our growth agenda. At the same time, I want to express my deep appreciation to Kees and Ralph for the significant contribution they have made over long and distinguished careers. They have been fine colleagues and can be proud of their achievements. We welcome Doug Baillie onto the Unilever executive following the outstanding contribution he has made to the business, most recently at Hindustan Unilever.