Unilever has announced the retirement of its CEO Paul Polman by the end of this year after a decade of heading the company. He will be replaced by the beauty and personal care division’s existing president Alan Jope.

Polman will retire as CEO and board member on 31 December 2018. He will, however, provide support during the transition process until the first half of 2019 and will leave the company in early July.

Jope will assume the role from 1 January 2019. Polman has been associated with the company for almost four decades.

Polman said: “I congratulate Alan on his appointment and look forward to working with him on the transition. Having worked closely with Alan for many years, I am highly confident that under his leadership, Unilever will prosper long into the future.”

“Having worked closely with Alan for many years, I am highly confident that under his leadership, Unilever will prosper long into the future”

Earlier this year, Polman had a fight with shareholders with his plan to shift the company’s headquarters to the Netherlands to simplify its structure. This plan had to be abandoned due to objections from investors.

According to Unilever, the company has delivered “consistent top and bottom line growth” during his tenure.

Under Polman’s leadership, the firm acquired several brands including  Mãe Terra, Weis, Tazo, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto and Grom. Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care segment has been led by Jope since 2014.

Since 2011, Jope has been on the company’s Leadership Executive and has led the business in both developed and emerging markets.

Jope said: “It will be a huge privilege to lead Unilever, a truly global company full of talented people and brilliant brands. Over the 30 years I have worked at Unilever, I have seen the many ways in which our brands improve people’s lives, positively impacting more than 2 billion citizens every day.

The company soon plans to announce the name of the president for the beauty and personal care division.

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