Unilever on January 30 appointed Hein Schumacher as its chief executive officer, replacing Alan Jope, with effect from July 1.
Schumacher was appointed as a non-executive director of Unilever PLC, the appointment for which took effect in October 2022. He is currently a member of the Audit Committee.
The company's key household brands include Magnum ice cream, Cif surface cleaner and Dove soap.
Schumacher is a global business leader and has served as the CEO of Royal Royal FrieslandCampina, an organisation functional in over 40 countries. Prior to this, he worked in HJ Heinz for more than 10 years. He was appointed as the chief strategy officer prior to his relocation to China as the president and CEO in 2011.
"Hein is a dynamic, values-driven business leader who has a diverse background of experiences and an excellent track record of delivery in the global consumer goods industry," said Unilever chairman Nils Andersen in the statement.
"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," he said.
Alan Jope will depart Unilever after coming under fierce pressure from activist investors over a failed takeover bid.
He spent 37 years at the group and has held the top job since 2019. He leaves after Unilever's failed $50-billion bid at the start of 2022 for the former healthcare unit of drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.
In response, Jope slashed around 1,500 management jobs worldwide in a major restructure that was widely seen as a bid to appease unhappy investors. He announced his exit last September.
Schumacher said he was "delighted" to have been appointed to head Unilever. "In my time serving on the board, I have only become more convinced by the strength of Unilever's fundamentals and its clear growth potential," he said.
"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," he added.
With inputs from agencies