One of India’s leading FMCG company Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) announced Harish Manwani’s decision to retire as Non-Executive Chairman of the company following the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. Sanjiv Mehta, who is currently the CEO and Managing Director, will take over as the Chairman and Managing Director of HUL.
Manwani took over as the Non-Executive Chairman of HUL in July 2005. He oversaw a period of sustained growth, with the business nearly tripling in size, and HUL reinforcing itself as one of India’s most admired companies. Manwani strongly believes that the challenges businesses face today can only be addressed through the ‘4G sustainable growth model’ of competitive, consistent, profitable and above all, responsible growth. This model has become a strong focal point for HUL and is central to the Company’s business strategy.
Sharing his thought on this development Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and MD of HUL said, “Harish leaves behind a legacy that few will be able to match. He has lived the values that make HUL such a great company. Through his passion, commitment and endless energy, he leaves a lasting impact on the business. I will personally miss his leadership and wise counsel.”
The HUL Board had, as part of its periodic succession planning meetings, discussed the succession plan concerning the Chairman. This was before the Kotak Committee on Corporate Governance Report was in the public domain. The Company has taken note of SEBI’s recent decision to accept the recommendation of the Kotak Committee to separate the positions of the Chairman and the Managing Director from April 2020, for the top 500 companies by market capitalization. The HUL Board will ensure compliance with the new regulation of separation of the two positions by April 2020.
Sanjiv Mehta took over as the CEO and Managing Director of HUL in October 2013. He has been with Unilever for 25 years and for the last 16 years has led businesses in different parts of the world. He has been Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Limited (2002-06), Chairman and CEO of Unilever Philippines Inc. (2007 -08) and Chairman of Unilever - North Africa & Middle East (2008 – September 2013).