Leena Nair, the first female and youngest-ever Chief Human Resources Officer of Anglo-Dutch FMCG major Unilever, has left to join French luxury group Chanel as its Global Chief Executive.
Nair’s serving at Unilever spanned 30 years, most recently as the chief of human resources and a member of the company’s executive committee. The 52-year-old follows US businesswoman Maureen Chiquet, who came from a fashion background and was CEO of Chanel for nine years until early 2016.
“Leena Nair, CHRO, has decided to leave the company in January 2022 to pursue a new career opportunity as Global Chief Executive Officer, Chanel Ltd,” Unilever stated in a statement while announcing a change to its Leadership Executive.
According to the news, Ms. Nair, in her new position with the French luxury group Chanel, will be based in London.
“I would like to thank Leena for her outstanding contribution over the last three decades. Leena has been a pioneer throughout her career at Unilever, but no more so than in her role as CHRO, where she has been a driving force on our equity, diversity and inclusion agenda, on the transformation of our leadership development, and on our preparedness for the future of work,” Unilever CEO Alan Jope said.
He added that she had played a critical role in building our purpose-led, future-fit organization, which is now the employer of choice in over 50 countries globally.
Ms. Nair, an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur, had joined HUL, Unilever’s Indian subsidiary, in 1992 and worked for 30 years.