Nestle’s Polman to succeed Cescau as new Unilever group chief executive
LONDON Unilever has announced that former Nestle executive Paul Polman will serve as the new group chief executive. He will succeed Patrick Cescau, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Cescau will retire after serving the business for 35 years and leading the company for the past four years as chairman and then as the company’s first group chief executive.
“Four years ago we set out to transform Unilever and to get the business back on track. I believe that phase of work is largely complete, so now is exactly the right time to pass on the baton,” stated Cescau. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to lead such a great business. I leave with a real sense of pride in what has been achieved, but also great confident in the company’s ability to pursue the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Polman currently serves as executive vice president and zone director for the Americas at Nestle SA. He joined Nestle in 2006 as chief financial officer. Before that he had a 26-year career at Procter & Gamble, culminating as group president of Europe, a post he held from 2001 to 2005.
“Patrick has had an outstanding career. We are greatly in his debt for the transformation he has brought over the last four years. The performance of the business has improved markedly under his leadership. Liked and admired in equal measure, Patrick leaves a substantial record on which to build,” stated Michael Treschow, chairman of Unilever. “At the same time, we are very pleased to welcome Paul Polman. He is a great talent with significant international experience and an excellent track record. He has all the attributes necessary to build on Patrick’s achievements. We are delighted that he has agreed to join the business and to lead Unilever into the next stage of its development.”
Kim Berg appointed director of evaluation for Drom
TOWACO, N.J. Drom Fragrances, which is in the midst of a restructuring and expansion process, has appointed Kim Berg director of evaluation.
Berg has been with drom for more than four years. She started as a senior evaluator, working in both fine fragrance and personal care. Her latest position before being promoted was that of evaluation manager.
In her new role, Berg will be responsible for all evaluation activities in both the New York as well the New Jersey locations. She will also be in charge of the department’s long-term strategy and the international coordination with drom’s German headquarters. She will be located in the company’s Towaco, N.J. creative center.
The latest new member to Berg’s evaluation team is Judith Chan. She will be working as a fragrance evaluator in drom’s downtown New York City fine fragrance studio. Chan joins the company from Ungerer & Co., where she had worked for five years. In her new role, Chan will work on drom’s fine fragrance accounts.
Revlon looks to reduce debt
NEW YORK Beauty company Revlon is looking to reduce its debt by $170 million by using proceeds from the sale of the Bozzano business in Brazil and proceeds from an equity rights offering that will launch as early as the fourth quarter of 2008.
“By repaying the [MacAndrews & Forbes] Term Loan, we will eliminate our highest cost, nearest maturity debt, which carries an annual cash interest cost of almost $19 million. Improving our capital structure with this important step is consistent with a key aspect of our strategy,” stated David Kennedy, Revlon president and chief executive officer.
To repay the $170 million loan, which matures Aug. 1, 2009, Revlon will use $63 million of the net proceeds from the previously announced sale of its Bozzano business in Brazil. The remaining $30 million or so of net cash proceeds from the July 2008 sales will be used for general corporate purposes.
In a second step, Revlon plans to launch, as early as in the fourth quarter of 2008, a $107 million equity rights offering that would enable stockholders to purchase additional shares of Revlon Class A common stock.
Revlon intends to effect is previously announced 1-for-10 reverse stock split of its Class A and Class B common stock on Sept. 15, 2008, and open for trading on the New York Stock Exchange on a post-split basis on Sept.16, 2008.