November 23, 2017 / 8:42 PM / in 21 days

Unilever drafts in search firm to look for new CEO: Sky News

(Reuters) - Consumer goods maker Unilever NV UNc.AS ULVR.L has begun working with executive search firm Egon Zehnder International to help to identify a successor to Chief Executive officer Paul Polman, Sky News reported on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Unilever is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

No date has been set for Polman's retirement, but he is expected to step down in about 18 months, Sky News said, citing people close to the matter. (

Unilever and Egon Zehnder declined to comment on the report.

Unilever, whose products range from Dove soap to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, currently has a dual structure, with headquarters, boards of directors and stock listings in both Britain and the Netherlands.

This is under review in the wake of a rebuffed $143 billion takeover bid from Kraft Heinz Co KHC.O in February, and the company expects to say by the end of the year whether it will combine into one.

Possible internal candidates from the company to succeed Polman could include finance director Graeme Pitkethly, although an extensive international search is likely to be carried out, Sky News said.

Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman

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