Unilever begins preparations for exit of chief executive Paul Polman

Unilever has hired executive search firm Egon Zehnder International to begin the process of helping it find a successor to Paul Polman as the head of the company.

The headhunter’s role at the moment is thought to be helping the board at the FMCG giant prepare for a formal search process, Sky News reports, with Polman, above, not expected to leave for another 18 months.

Dutchman Polman has been chief executive at Unilever since 2009, after a career in which he spent 27 years at arch-rival Procter & Gamble, followed by a three-year stint at Nestlé, including as chief financial officer.

A year after Polman joined the business, Keith Weed was promoted to chief marketing and communications officer.

Unilever declined to comment.

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