In a major management rejig, Unilever has elevated Nitin Paranjpe, the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Hindustan Unilever (HUL), to a global position and appointed Sanjiv Mehta in his place.
Paranjpe will be joining the parent as president, home care, while Mehta, who currently heads Unilever’s North Africa and Middle East operations, will take over as the CEO and MD of HUL.
The changes will be effective October 1.
Besides India, Mehta will be responsible for South Asian markets like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
Paranjpe took over as the CEO of HUL in 2008, at a time when HUL was battling a slowdown, and is credited with adding close to `7,000 revenue in the last five years. In 2008-09, consumer sentiment had taken a beating and the company had begun losing market share in certain segments. But the youngest ever CEO of HUL steered the ship through by focusing on innovation, expanding rural reach and by ensuring effective management.
Mehta, on the other hand, has been associated with the parent company since 1992 and is credited with bringing about a turnaround in several businesses of Unilever, including Bangladesh.
Mehta is also taking over from Paranjpe in difficult times, when HUL has been struggling with a slowing volume growth and declining sales in several category and improving sales and volume will be his biggest challenge for now.