Vindi Banga to leave Unilever
Unilever today announced that Vindi Banga has decided to leave Unilever at the end of May after a distinguished career of 33 years.
Leaving after a distinguished career
Vindi will be replaced in his current role by Michael B. Polk who is currently President, Americas. Mike will be succeeded by Dave Lewis, currently Executive Vice President of Unilever, UK & Ireland, who will join the Unilever Executive.
Vindi Banga led the creation of a One Unilever Global Foods, Home and Personal Care Global Category organisation which is now responsible for innovation and marketing mix development for all Unilever brands. Mr Banga was a member of the Unilever Executive leadership team which transformed the company’s performance.
Vindi Banga said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time at Unilever especially the last few years during which we have transformed the company. Our global category organisation is a real powerhouse that combines global brand and technology scale with local knowledge and execution.”
Paul Polman, CEO Unilever, said: “Vindi is a great leader and has had a very successful career with Unilever. He was responsible for a significant improvement in our innovation results, delivering bigger ideas with global scale, and he will leave a lasting impact on the company. He will be greatly missed and I wish him all success in his future endeavours.”
“I am delighted that Mike will be taking on this new challenge. He is a remarkably talented and highly experienced marketer and consumer goods operator. He will bring a great deal to the role, including experience built up outside Unilever. I am also very excited that Dave Lewis will be joining my Executive team and I wish him and Mike every success in their new roles.”
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Notes to the Editors:
Vindi Banga joined Unilever in India and has since worked in a number of roles around the world. In 2000 he was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) which is Unilever’s operating company in India. HUL is India’s largest consumer products company; one of the country’s most respected companies and one of the most valuable companies on the Indian stock exchange.
In 2004 he was appointed President, Home and Personal Care Asia based in Singapore. In this role he was responsible for a €7bn business across North East Asia, China, South East Asia, Australasia and South Asia including India.
In 2005 he joined the Unilever Executive Board as President, Foods and created the Foods Category Organisation. In 2008 he was given additional responsibility for the Home & Personal Care categories. He led the creation of a One Unilever Global Foods, Home & Personal Care Global Category Organisation which is now responsible for innovation and marketing mix development for all brands. Unilever has 270 brands in 13 categories of which 11 are above €1bn each; these brands are marketed in 200 countries. He was also responsible for the sustainability agenda for Unilever.
In 2004 he was appointed to serve on the Prime Minister of India’s Council of Trade & Industry.
In December 2009, Vindi was named India’s Global Achiever at a CNBC-sponsored awards ceremony in New Delhi.
In 2010 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards.
Michael B. Polk
Mike is currently President of Unilever Americas with responsibility for Unilever’s $18bn business in North America and Latin America. He is a member of the Unilever Executive reporting to the Global Chief Executive. He also serves as the Functional Executive for Global Customer Development and the recently acquired TIGI Global Professional Haircare business unit. Prior to his current assignment Polk was President, Unilever United States.
Mike joined Unilever in 2003 having spent the 16 prior years at Kraft Foods where he was a member of the Management Committee. His last assignment was as Group Vice President, Kraft Foods North America and President of the Biscuits, Snacks, and Confections.
In that role, he led the integration of Nabisco into Kraft. He held a variety of other leadership positions at Kraft including President, Asia Pacific Region, Executive Vice President and General Manager Cereals, and Vice President Category Sales Management & Strategy. Prior to joining Kraft, Mike spent three years at Procter & Gamble in Manufacturing and Research & Development.
Mike earned a B.S. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mike is a Non-Executive Director of Newell Rubbermaid and a member of the Boards of Directors of the Pepsi-Lipton Partnership, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, and the Students in Free Enterprise. Mike is a former member of the Boards of The Yankee Candle Company, Ajinimoto General Foods, and Dong Suh Foods.
In May 2009, Mike was named as one of the 25 “CEOs of Tomorrow” by BusinessWeek magazine.
Dave Lewis was appointed Chairman of Unilever UK & Ireland in February of 2007. He joined Unilever in 1987 with Unilever UK HPC in 1987 as a Marketing Trainee. He held various Brand and Customer Management roles before being appointed Company Operations Manager in 1993.
In 1996, he was appointed Marketing Director, Unilever Argentina and Regional Innovation Leader for Household Care in Latin America. In 1999, Dave moved to Unilever Indonesia as Managing Director of the Personal Care business and Regional Innovation Leader for Personal Care in South East Asia. Business Conditions in Indonesia were challenging after the collapse of the Soeharto regime and the ensuing political unrest. Despite hyperinflation caused by the political instability, under his leadership the business continued to innovate and grow.
After a three month Advanced Management Programme at Harvard University, Daver eturned to Unilever Home & Personal Care Europe in November 2001 as Senior Vice President for Central and Eastern Europe. In 2004 he became Managing Director of the UK’s HPC business overseeing the go-to-market operation across the deodorants, laundry, household cleaning, haircare and skincare & cleansing categories.
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We are one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more than 100 countries. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most loved brands including eleven €1 billion brands, and global leadership in many categories in which we operate. The portfolio features iconic brands such as Hellmann’s, Lipton, Flora, Dove, Lux, Pond's, Axe, Persil, Surf and Domestos.
We have around 163,000 employees in approaching 100 countries, and generated annual sales of €40 billion in 2009. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com
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