12 January 2007
UNILEVER ANNOUNCES NEW CHAIRMAN
Michael Treschow to succeed Antony Burgmans in May 2007
Unilever today announced that Michael Treschow, one of Europe's leading business
figures, will succeed Antony Burgmans as Chairman of Unilever NV and Unilever
PLC at the Annual General Meeting in May 2007.
Mr 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.
Mr Treschow is currently the Chairman of both Ericsson and Electrolux, and a
non-executive director of ABB Group. He has recently announced that he will
stand down in April as Chairman of Electrolux. He is currently the Chairman of
the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise but will relinquish that position in May
when his term expires. He is also a prominent member of both UNICE (the European
Employers Federation), and the Transatlantic Business Dialogue.
As previously announced, Antony Burgmans will retire from Unilever at the 2007
AGMs after 35 years distinguished service. He joined the Board in 1991 and in
1999 he was appointed Executive Chairman of Unilever NV and Deputy Chairman of
Unilever PLC. In 2005, following a major review of Unilever's governance
arrangements, he was appointed the first non-executive Chairman of both parent
Lord Simon, Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director said: 'The Board of
Unilever is delighted to make this appointment. 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.'
Antony Burgmans said: 'Michael Treschow is a businessman with a formidable track
record gained in some of the world's most competitive consumer industries. 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.'
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.'
January 12, 2007
Born in Rotterdam in 1947, Antony studied at Nijenrode in the Netherlands before
going on to study political and social sciences at the University of Stockholm
in Sweden. He then completed an MA at the University of Lancaster, UK.
He joined Unilever in 1972 as a marketing assistant and later went on to hold
marketing and sales positions in the company's detergents businesses in
Indonesia and the Netherlands, before being appointed chairman of PT Unilever
In 1994 he became chairman of the Europe Committee, which co-ordinates
Unilever's European activities. Four years later he was appointed vice chairman
of Unilever NV and became chairman of Unilever NV in May 1999. In May 2005, he
became chairman of Unilever NV and PLC.
Antony Burgmans is also a member of the supervisory board of Akzo Nobel and
non-executive director of BP.
His affinity with wildlife led to his participation in the joint initiative
between Unilever and the World Wildlife Fund and the setting up of the Marine
Stewardship Council. He also chaired a CEO Panel at the World Water Forum in The
Hague in 2000 and in Kyoto in 2003.
1972: Joined Unilever
1976: Sales and planning member, Lever Sunlight Holland
1978: Marketing manager, detergents, Unilever Indonesia
1980: Marketing controller, Unilever Indonesia
1982: Marketing and sales director, Lever Sunlight Holland
1985: Marketing director, Lever Sunlight Germany
1988: Chairman, Unilever Indonesia
1991: Appointed director
1991/94: Personal products co-ordinator
1994/98: Business group president, Ice Cream and Frozen Foods Europe; chairman
of Unilever Europe Committee
1998: Vice chairman, Unilever N.V.
1999: Appointed chairman of Unilever N.V. and vice chairman, Unilever PLC
2005: Elected chairman of Unilever N.V. and PLC
Michael Treschow was born 1943 in Helsingborg, Sweden. He earned a Master of
Science degree from the Institute of Technology in Lund, Sweden
Michael Treschow has had a long and distinguished business career, including
spells working in France and the US. He is currently Chairman of the Board of
Ericsson. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electrolux Group
until April 2002, a position to which he was appointed in 1997. In May 2004 Mr
Treschow became Chairman of the Board of AB Electrolux. He announced in December
2006 that he will not stand for re-election at the company's Annual General
Meeting in April 2007. He is also a board member of ABB Group.
In addition to Electrolux, Mr Treschow held executive positions at Atlas Copco,
where he was chief executive for six years.
Mr Treschow has previously held non-executive Board positions at Investor AB,
Atlas Copco AB, SKF AB, Saab Automobiles, and at Parker-Hannifin Corp.
Michael Treschow is also Chairman of the Board of the Confederation of Swedish
Enterprise, a position from which he will stand down in May 2007.
Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for
nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good,
look good and get more out of life.
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods
with strong local roots in more than 100 countries across the globe. Its
portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most loved brands
including twelve €1 billion brands and global leadership in many categories in
which the company operates. The portfolio features brand icons such as: Knorr,
Hellmann's, Lipton, Blue Band, Flora/Becel, Bertolli; Dove, Lux, Pond's,
Axe/Lynx, Rexona/Sure; Skip/Persil; Cif and Domestos.
Unilever has around 206,000 employees in approaching 100 countries and generated
annual sales of €40 billion in 2005. For more information about Unilever and
its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.
SAFE HARBOUR STATEMENT: This announcement may contain forward-looking
statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the
United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as '
expects', 'anticipates', 'intends' or the negative of these terms and other
similar expressions of future performance or results and their negatives are
intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking
statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding
anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not
historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these
forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important
factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among
others, competitive pricing and activities, consumption levels, costs, the
ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain
sources, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions
and complete planned divestitures, physical risks, environmental risks, the
ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters
within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments,
political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the
Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of
potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the
Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US
Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report & Accounts on
Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this
announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group
expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any
updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to
reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change
in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
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