BNR – Unilever Plc said on Tuesday that its Chief Financial Officer will be leaving after more than two decades with the company. CFO Graeme Pitkethly will depart the consumer products firm at the end of May 2024.
Pitkethly, who has been with the Dove soap brand owner since 2002, took over as finance head in 2015, succeeding Jean-Marc Hut. The 56-year-old was formerly executive VP of Unilever’s UK and Ireland operations. Also, he served as head of M&A and treasury.
His retirement comes at a time when Unilever is dealing with severe cost inflation and margin pressure. This is a result of rising energy and commodity prices. Unilever is not alone in this problem; the whole consumer products business is in distress.
Unilever Successor Recruitment
The corporation said that it will conduct formal internal and external recruitment for Pitkethly’s replacement. Unilever did not specify why he intended to leave the company.
Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer firms, with over 400 products spanning from detergent to ice cream. The company named Hein Schumacher as CEO in January to succeed Alan Jope.
Investors, including board member and activist shareholder Nelson Peltz, applauded the action.
Pitkethly’s departure is not surprising, according to Tineke Frikkee, a fund manager at Unilever shareholder Waverton Investment Management. She said that this will allow the next CEO to restructure his management team.
“Eight years as CFO of a multinational is a decent time,” Frikkee said. “Retiring in May 2024 should enable a useful handover to a new CFO.”
Conny Braams, Unilever’s chief digital and commercial officer, also announced his intention to depart the firm in August.