Unilever elevates Nitin Paranjpe as global head of home care unit; Sanjiv Mehta new HUL chief

Global consumer products giant Unilever has elevated Nitin Paranjpe, currently managing director and chief executive of Hindustan Unilever Ltd, as its global head for the home care products business. He will be joining the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE), taking on the role of president, home care with effect from October 1, 2013, as per a company statement on Friday.

ULE is Unilever’s 12-member top executive team and includes C-Suite executives such as heads of finance, HR, R&D, marketing and supply chain besides chiefs of key markets such as Europe, North America and North Asia. It also includes heads of food and personal care product units and the company’s global COO Harish Manwani, currently also the chairman of HUL.

Paranjpe joined HUL in 1987 and initially worked as area sales manager and product manager - detergents. In April 1996, he became branch manager - Chennai and in February 1999 he was appointed a member of Project Millennium Team.

In June 2007, he joined the board of the company; he was appointed managing director and chief executive officer in April 2008.

During his five years stint as HUL's CEO, Paranjpe has seen the firm add over Rs 10,000 crore in revenues and the company’s stock hit an all-time high recently. Unilever recently hiked stake in HUL with a voluntary open offer to 67 per cent. Paranjpe is a mechanical engineer and an MBA in marketing from JBIMS, Mumbai.

He would be yet another top Indian executive to take a senior position at Unilever. In the past Manvinder (Vindi) Singh Banga was elevated as global chief of the food business. Banga quit Unilever three years ago after an over three-decade stint at the Anglo Dutch giant.

Sanjiv Mehta to replace Paranjpe

Sanjiv Mehta, currently chairman, North Africa and the Middle East, will replace Paranjpe as managing director and chief executive officer. Mehta will also be responsible for the South Asia cluster that includes Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, apart from India.

Mehta, who began his career with the American multinational Union Carbide (since merged with Dow Chemicals), joined Unilever in 1992.

With Unilever he has held various positions, including chairman and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh (2002-06), chairman and CEO of Unilever Philippines (2007-08). Since 2008, he has been chairman of Unilever – North Africa and Middle East region.

He obtained his bachelor’s in commerce and chartered accountancy in India and Advance Management Program from Harvard Business School.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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