12 May 2004
UNILEVER SHAREHOLDERS ELECT NON-EXECUTIVE
DIRECTORS FOR FIRST TIME
Unilever moved to one-tier Boards for both parent companies, Unilever N.V. and
Unilever PLC when shareholders at the Group's annual general meetings in London
and Rotterdam today (May 12) elected the current advisory directors as
non-executive directors. Both Boards will be identical in composition and will
be comprised of a majority of independent directors.
A further distinguishing feature of Unilever's arrangements is that all
directors will offer themselves for re-election each year.
Those elected to serve as non-executive directors were: The Rt. Hon The Lord
Brittan of Spennithorne QC, The Rt. Hon The Baroness Chalker of Wallasey,
Bertrand Collomb, Professor Wim Dik, Oscar Fanjul, Claudio X Gonzalez, Hilmar
Kopper, The Lord Simon of Highbury, and Jeroen van der Veer.
Bertrand Collomb will serve as Senior Independent Director.
Chairman Niall FitzGerald told shareholders: 'This is a significant change and
gives both Unilever parent companies the same single tier board comprising a
majority of independent non-executive directors. The key watchwords for these
changes are transparency and accountability. Shareholders should be absolutely
clear on who is responsible and be able to hold us to account.'
The meetings in London and Rotterdam also re-elected the following executive
Antony Burgmans Chairman N.V./Vice-Chairman PLC
Niall FitzGerald Chairman PLC/Vice-Chairman N.V.
Clive Butler Corporate Development Director
Patrick Cescau Chairman PLC/Vice-Chairman N.V. - Designate
Keki Dadiseth Home and Personal Care Director
Andre baron van Heemstra Personnel Director
Rudy Markham Financial Director
Kees van der Graaf was elected to the board and has taken up the role of Foods
director in succession to Patrick Cescau already nominated as successor to Niall
FitzGerald who retires as chairman of Unilever PLC on September 30, 2004.
Charles Strauss did not seek re-election as a Director and has retired after 18
years' service with Unilever. Senator George Mitchell retired as an Advisory
All other resolutions at both meetings were carried.
May 12 2004
Note: Details of the voting by the shareholders can be accessed via
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange