Rohit Jawa was appointed the new managing director and chief executive officer of FMCG major HUL on Friday. Jawa will succeed Sanjiv Mehta, the current CEO of HUL, will retire after leading it for a decade.
HUL in a statement said Jawa, presently the chief of transformation for Unilever, would take over the leadership role for a term of five consecutive years with effect from June 27, 2023. “The appointment of Rohit Jawa as a whole-time director and MD and CEO will be subject to approval of shareholders and other statutory approvals as may be applicable,” it added.
Jawa will join HUL board as a whole-time director from April 1, 2023. Besides the Indian market, he will also take over as president of Unilever South Asia. He will join the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) effective April 1, 2023. After a transformational tenure of 10 years at the helm of HUL, Sanjiv Mehta will retire from the company.
Jawa is currently in London since January 2022. He has successfully orchestrated the once-in-a-decade, end-to-end transformation of Unilever. He started his career with HUL as a management trainee in 1988 and has a proven track record of sustained business results across – India, South East Asia, and North Asia.
As EVP for North Asia and chairman for Unilever China, he led a significant transformation of Unilever China into a competitive, profitable, and consistent business, now Unilever’s third biggest globally, the statement said.
Further, as the chairman of Unilever Philippines, he led the business to become one of the top 10 markets for Unilever globally. Rohit’s ability to integrate the strength of traditional markets with digital technologies and future-fit business models, positions him well to take HUL into its next growth phase.
Commenting over the development HUL Chairman Nitin Pranjape said, “I am delighted to welcome Rohit back to India. He has a deep understanding of the business landscape particularly in Asia and has led the transformation of Unilever businesses in China and in the Philippines. I am certain that with his astute business acumen, and growth mindset Jawa will take HUL to the next level of performance.”
Mehta (62), had taken over as the MD & CEO of HUL in October 2013 leading the business through a period of sustained growth.
During his decade at the helm, the business crossed the Rs 50,000 crore turnover mark and the market capitalisation of the company increased more than four times from $17 billion to $75 billion, reinforcing HUL as one of India’s most valuable businesses, the company said.
Mehta has been a proponent of long-term value creation anchored by growth, high performance anatomy and distinctive capabilities and introduced several transformative business programmes such as ‘Dial Up the Big Q’ and ‘Winning in Many Indias’ to make the business more consumer-centric, agile, and resilient.
In order to make the business more future-fit, Mehta kickstarted the ‘Reimagine HUL’ agenda by leveraging data, harnessing latest technologies, and designing business models to redefine how HUL engages with consumers, customers, and the way the business operates.
He was also instrumental in HUL undertaking several strategic mergers and acquisitions, including the amalgamation of GSK Consumer Healthcare into HUL, one of the biggest mergers in the history of FMCG in the country. Besides, he actively championed the diversity agenda making HUL an even more inclusive organisation, the company said.
For the financial year ended on March 31, 2022, HUL which owns power brands as Rin, Surf Excel, Dove etc clocked a revenue of Rs 51,193 crore.