UK – Multinational consumer goods giant Unilever has tapped Royal FrieslandCampina CEO Hein Schumacher to succeed current CEO Alan Jope who announced in September 2022 his intention to retire from the company.
Hein has been CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina, an €11 billion global dairy and nutrition business operating in over 40 countries – and with products sold in over 100 – since January 2018.
In his current position at the global dairy and nutrition business Royal FrieslandCampina and became a Non-Executive Director of Unilever in October last year. He will begin as Unilever CEO on 1 July 2023, after a one-month handover period.
“Hein is a business leader with an excellent track record across multiple leading companies in the consumer goods industry,” Unilever said in a statement.
“As CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina he has delivered significant portfolio and organisation change as part of transforming it into a more focused, growth-driven and sustainable business.”
Prior to joining Royal FrieslandCampina as CFO in 2014, Hein worked for H.J. Heinz for over a decade – during a time of significant change at the company – across the US, Europe and Asia.
In his last four years at Heinz, he was based in China, where he led a turnaround of the Asia Pacific zone. Hein began his career in finance at Unilever, before joining Royal Ahold NV.
Unilever Chairman Nils Andersen said: “We are delighted to welcome Hein as our new Chief Executive, after an extensive, global search process. The Board looks forward to Hein realising the full potential of Unilever as a winning business which delivers long-term growth and value for all its stakeholders.”
Andersen also thanked Alan for his leadership of Unilever. “The changes he has made to the company’s strategy, structure and organisation leave Unilever far better positioned for success.”
The chairman further revealed that Alan will continue to lead Unilever until the end of June. “He will be retiring after a tremendous 37-year career with our business.”
Hein Schumacher will receive annual fixed pay of €1.85m, be eligible to receive annual bonus and Performance Share Plan awards, and relocation support, Unilever revealed.
He will also receive share-based awards to replace the loss of incentive payments from his previous employer.
Hein said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead Unilever. It is a business with an impressive global footprint, a strong brand portfolio, a talented team and an enviable reputation as a leader in sustainability.
I will be very focused on working with the Unilever team to deliver a step-up in business performance, as we serve the billions of people around the world who use its products every day.”