Unilever boss to retire in 2023 after five years in the role

The boss of Marmite maker Unilever plans to stand down at the end of 2023 after five years at the helm, the group has announced.

Chief executive Alan Jope’s retirement from the firm ends a career spanning more than 35 years with the group.

Unilever – which is behind a raft of well-known household brands also including Dove soap, Knorr stock cubes, Magnum ice cream and Pot Noodle – has kicked off the search for his successor, both inside and outside the company.

Mr Jope said: “As I approach my fifth year as chief executive, and after more than 35 years in Unilever, I believe now is the right time for the board to begin the formal search for my successor.

“Growth remains our top priority and in the quarters ahead I will remain fully focused on disciplined execution of our strategy and leveraging the full benefits of our new organisation.”

The group’s chairman Nils Andersen said Mr Jope’s departure will “mark the end of a remarkable career with Unilever”.

He added: “The board will now conduct an orderly succession process and support Alan and the management team in further driving the performance of Unilever.

“Alan’s retirement next year will mark the end of a remarkable career with Unilever.

“Under his leadership, Unilever has made critical changes to its strategy, structure and organisation that position it strongly for success.”

The news comes as household goods giant Reckitt is also on the hunt for a permanent successor after chief executive Laxman Narasimhan was appointed to lead Starbucks and move back to the US after three years in the role.