Unilever announced that Michael Treschow will succeed Antony Burgmans as chairman of Unilever NV and Unilever PLC. Treschow will be the first person from outside Unilever to hold the office of chairman and, following the restructuring of the boards in recent years, will be the first independent, non-executive chairman of the company.
"The board of Unilever is delighted to make this appointment," said Lord Simon, deputy chairman and senior independent director, Unilever. "The nomination committee conducted a thorough search. We deliberately set the bar high, and I'm delighted our efforts have yielded such an excellent result."
Treschow is currently the chairman of both Ericsson and Electrolux, a non-executive director of ABB Group and the chairman of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. He also is a prominent member of both UNICE (the European Employers Federation) and the Transatlantic Business Dialogue. He will assume his position at Unilever at the company's annual general meeting in May 2007
"Michael Treschow is a businessman with a formidable track record gained in some of the world's most competitive consumer industries," said Burgmans. "He has already proved himself an effective chairman, and I have no doubt Unilever will benefit greatly from his knowledge and experience. His international reputation, his abiding interest in the development of international business together with his familiarity with cultural diversity make him an irresistible choice to lead Unilever."
"I am honored to have been invited by the board to become Unilever's chairman and to help build on the transformation that the current management have wrought," said Treschow. "It is a great business, with great brands and an unequalled global reach, and Patrick Cescau and I are looking forward immensely to working together in the future."
Burgmans is retiring from Unilever after 35 years of service. He joined Unilever in 1972 as a marketing assistant, and went on to hold marketing and sales positions in the company's detergents businesses in Indonesia and the Netherlands. He joined the board in 1991, and was appointed executive chairman of Unilever NV and deputy chairman of Unilever PLC in 1999. In 2005, following a major review of Unilever's governance arrangements, he was appointed the first non-executive chairman of both parent companies. Michael Treschow said: "I am honoured to have been invited by the Board to become Unilever's Chairman and to help build on the transformation that the current management have wrought. It is a great business, with great brands and an unequalled global reach and Patrick Cescau and I are looking forward immensely to working together in the future."