Unilever elevates Nitin Paranjpe as COO, Sanjiv Mehta as South Asia President

Mar 15 2019 10:51AM

Unilever, world's second-largest consumer goods company Thursday announced the elevation of Nitin Paranjpe as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). He is the second Indian after Harish Manwani to make it to the global post.

Before this appointment, he was heading the company's foods & refreshments business.

The British-Dutch company also promoted Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of its Indian subsidiary Hindustan Unilever (HUL), to the post of the company's South Asia President and member, Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE). However, he will continue to head HUL as CMD. Changes to both the elevations will take effect from May 1.

Paranjpe formerly served as the company's India Chief Executive since April 2008. In 2013, he was promoted to the position of President of Parent Unilever's home care category at HUL's international office.

"Today's increasingly fragmented consumer, channel and media environment requires us to operate with more speed and agility than ever before.

With his deep knowledge and experience of our markets, Nitin is ideally placed to work with me and the Unilever Leadership Executive to drive our performance and help deliver our growth ambitions," Unilever CEO Alan Jope said in a media statement.

Harish Manwani who retired in 2018 as HUL's non-executive chairman had served as Unilever's COO between 2011 and 2014. Manwani was the second most powerful executive at the company after then CEO Paul Polman.

Paranjpe too will be second-in-command after current CEO Alan Jope and will be responsible for Unilever's go-to-market activities, apart from steering growth across countries.

The move manifests India's strategic importance to Unilever as the country is its second-largest market after US. The $57 billion Unilever Plc, has a presence across 190 countries and gets nearly 60 per cent of its revenue from emerging markets like India.

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