Unilever today announced the appointment of Hein Schumacher, 51, as its new chief executive officer, following an extensive, global search process, the company shared in a statement. Schumacher will replace Alan Jope, who announced in September 2022 his intention to retire from Unilever.
Schumacher is currently CEO of 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.
Schumacher is a business leader with a solid track record across multiple leading companies in the consumer goods industry. As CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina, an €11bn turnover business operating in over 40 countries, he has delivered significant portfolio and organisation change as part of transforming it into a more focused, growth-driven and sustainable business, Unilever shared.
Prior to joining Royal FrieslandCampina as CFO in 2014, Schumacher 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. Schumacher began his career in finance at Unilever, before joining Royal Ahold NV.
Unilever Chairman Nils Andersen said, “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. He has exceptional strategic capabilities, proven operational effectiveness, and strong experience in both developed and developing markets. 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.
Nils also thanked outgoing chief Alan Jope for his leadership of Unilever and "the changes he has made to the company’s strategy, structure and organisation leave Unilever far better positioned for success. Alan will continue to lead Unilever until the end of June. He will be retiring after a tremendous 37-year career with our business.”
Schumacher said in a statement, “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. 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. 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.”
Schumacher will receive annual fixed pay of €1.85m, be eligible to receive annual bonus and Performance Share Plan awards, and relocation support, all in line with Unilever’s existing remuneration policy. His salary puts him at the median of Unilever's benchmark companies.
He will also receive share-based awards to replace the loss of incentive payments from his previous employer. Further details of his remuneration arrangements will be set out in the 2022 Directors’ Remuneration Report.