Marijn Dekkers to Head Unilever Board
Shortly after the appointment of Werner Baumann to succeed Marijn Dekkers as CEO of Bayer was announced on Feb. 24, Anglo-Dutch consumer goods producer Unilever revealed that Dekkers has agreed to become chairman of its board of directors.
In the Unilever slot Dekkers will succeed Michael Treschow, who will retire from the board following the company’s annual general meeting in April after completing the usual maximum tenure of nine years as chairman.
The departing Bayer CEO and future Unilever chairman is expected to work together with Unilever CEO Paul Polman to offset recent weakness in emerging markets and some of food businesses by pushing more high-end products in Europe and North America.
During his stint at Bayer, Dekkers in 2014, pulled off Bayer’s $14.2 billion acquisition of the consumer care division of US-based Merck & Co.
Unilever has been seen as increasing its emphasis on personal care products. In 2015 it made a string of small acquisitions in the skin care segment and has recently begun investing in high-end cosmetics.
Unilever “is a great business, with great brands and an unequaled global reach,”Dekkers said in a statement. The executive who has Dutch as well as US citizenship called Polman “an outstanding global leader.”
Explaining why he planned to terminate his contract with Bayer a year ahead of schedule, Dekkers had said earlier he wanted to re-orient himself toward the US, where his family is now living.
Treschow, a 72-year-old Swedish citizen, joined Unilever in 2007 as its first independent, non-executive chairman after the company ended its long-time system of having dual Dutch and British chairpersons.