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Unilever PLC (ULVR)

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Thursday 05 March, 2009

Unilever PLC


RNS Number : 3922O
Unilever PLC
05 March 2009


Unilever today announced that its Vice-Chairman and Senior Independent Director, the Lord Simon of Highbury CBE, will be retiring from the Board at the Annual General Meetings in May this year having served three terms of three years.  It is Unilever's intention that David Simon will be succeeded in these positions by Jeroen van der Veer.  Mr Van der Veer will also replace David Simon as chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees.  

Unilever is also proposing that Louise Fresco, Professor of International Development and Sustainability at the University of Amsterdam, Ann Fudge, former Chairman and Chief  Executive Officer of Young & Rubicam Brands and Paul Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of Diageo join the Board as new Non-Executive Directors. They will be proposed for election to the Board at the Annual General Meetings in London on 13 May and in Rotterdam on 14 May 2009.  

Michael Treschow, Chairman of Unilever, said: 'David Simon has made a tremendous contribution to Unilever and his wisdom and wit will be greatly missed. At the same time I am extremely pleased that Jeroen van der Veer has agreed to become vice-chairman and senior independent director.  

'I am also very pleased that Louise Fresco, Ann Fudge and Paul Walsh have agreed to be proposed to join the Board.  All are distinguished in their respective fields and will further strengthen the expertise and independence of the Board, as well as broadening its diversityI am sure they will add considerably to the business.'

Unilever requires all Directors to offer themselves for re-election at the Annual General Meetings each year. The following Directors will therefore be offering themselves for re-election: Leon Brittan, Wim Dik, Charles Golden, Byron Grote, Jim Lawrence, Narayana Murthy, Hixonia Nyasulu, Paul Polman, Kees Storm, Michael Treschow and Jeroen van der Veer.

As announced on 5 February 2009, Unilever will also be putting resolutions to its AGMs in May in order to move to quarterly dividends. The subsequent changes will result in a simpler and more transparent dividend practice for the Unilever group and its shareholders.


5th March 2009


Louise O. Fresco

Nationality: Dutch. Age: 57.

Professor Louise Fresco is Professor of International Development and Sustainability at the University of Amsterdam and a visiting Professor at Stanford University. She is, amongst other things, a supervisory director of Rabobank, a Crown appointed member of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands and a trustee of the Roosevelt Academy. From 1997 to 2006, she held various positions at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, including that of assistant director-general, Agriculture Department.

Ann M. Fudge

Nationality: American. Age: 57.

Ann Fudge is a non-executive director at Novartis AG and at General Electric Co. Ms. Fudge served as the chairman and chief executive officer of Young & Rubicam Brands from 2003 to 2006. Prior to joining Young & Rubicam, Ms. Fudge worked at General Mills and at Kraft Foods, where she served in a number of senior management positions including president of Beverages, Desserts and Post Cereal Division. Ms. Fudge is an honorary director of Catalyst and a director of The Rockefeller Foundation and is on the board of overseers of Harvard University.

Paul Walsh

Nationality: British. Age: 53.

Paul Walsh is chief executive officer of Diageo plc, a non-executive director of FedEx Corporation, and also a non-executive director of Centrica plc. He is a member of the Business Council for Britain, and chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association. Paul Walsh served in a number of management roles within GrandMet, which he joined in 1982, including chief executive officer of the Pillsbury Company. He was appointed to the GrandMet board in 1995, which in 1997 merged with Guinness UDV to become Diageo. He became chief executive officer of Diageo in September 2000 following a short period as chief operating officer.

Safe Harbour

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', 'believes' or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, including financial objectives to 2010, 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, the ability to complete planned restructuring activities, 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.

About Unilever 

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, Dove, Lux, Lynx, Persil and Domestos.

Unilever has around 174,000 employees in approaching 100 countries and generated annual sales of €40 billion in 2008. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit

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