LONDON — Patrick Cescau, Unilever’s group chief executive, will retire at the end of the year, the company has announced.His intended successor, Paul Polman, who is currently executive vice president and zone director for the Americas at Nestlé, will be proposed for appointment to the company’s board at extraordinary general meetings this fall.“He will take over as group chief executive following an orderly transition,” the firm stated.Cescau, 59, who became the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant’s first group ceo in 2005 after combining the previously separate roles of Unilever NV chairman and Unilever plc chairman, is a 35-year company veteran.Polman, 52, began his Nestlé career in 2006 as chief financial officer. Prior to that, he spent 26 years at Procter & Gamble, holding the title of group president for Europe from 2001 to 2005.“Paul Polman is the right man for the job as he has a highly appropriate résumé,” said Martin Deboo, consumer goods analyst at London-based Investec, adding Polman is a Dutch polyglot and so a good fit for Unilever’s diverse culture. “He has 26 years experience with Procter & Gamble and two years as cfo at Nestlé, during which time its performance improved markedly. He’s run Americas for Nestlé and Europe for P&G — real line experience in two of the toughest markets for Unilever.“Unilever is two-thirds of the way through its current change program, so the first job Polman will have will be to complete that transformation,” Deboo added. “The second will be to create a different Unilever, perhaps by disposing of businesses more radically than the company has been prepared to do so far.”Cescau has spearheaded a drive to streamline Unilever, which has involved selling off noncore brands, such as Boursin cheese, planning for the elimination of 20,000 jobs over a four-year period and rejiggering the company’s structure.“Four years ago, we set out to transform Unilever and to get the business back on track,” stated Cescau. “I believe that phase of work is largely complete, so now is exactly the right time to pass on the baton.”“The ship is in improving shape,” Deboo said. “Patrick Cescau finally got Unilever to cross the Rubicon and transform a federal organization with a high degree of local autonomy into one which is more category-driven.”Unilever shares closed up more than 6 percent on both the London Stock Exchange and Euronext Amsterdam Thursday.“The reaction is quite enthusiastic,” said Rik Zwaneveld, a trader at AFS Brokers in Amsterdam. “The train is already on track and going in a good direction, so shareholders are quite positive about the change in ceo. [However], in Holland we have a saying: ‘First see, then applaud.’”Unilever’s beauty portfolio, which includes names such as Dove, Pond’s, Vaseline, Sunsilk and Rexona, as well as household products like Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Domestos bleach, was third after L’Oréal and P&G in WWD Beauty Biz’s most recent Beauty’s Top 100, which ranked firms’ businesses by their 2007 beauty sales.Unilever’s overall turnover in 2007 hit 40.19 billion euros, or $55.09 billion at average exchange for the period. Personal care, which was its fastest-growing category last year, generated 28 percent of revenues, or 11.3 billion euros, or $15.49 billion.
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)
"In order for Shudu to wear garments, she needs to be able to put them on, just like you would in the real world. You have to digitize the outfits," said Cameron-James Wilson on dressing 3-D model @shudu.gram for her WWD photoshoot with @itsclo3d. #wwdfashion (📸: @cjw.photo)
“Shudu is a digital supermodel, a very glamour and amazing woman. But she’s 3-D,” says Cameron-James Wilson, a fashion photographer and the creature of @shudu.gram. Here, Shudu wears @cushnieetochs for her debut fashion editorial. #wwdfashion (📷: @cjw.photo)
“It is the fierce female performances that came before me that made be able to clearly identify for myself what it was that I wanted to do, what kind of artist I wanted to be, what kind of films I wanted to make,” said @brielarson at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards. See more pictures from the event on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: Matt Baron)