Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has appointed Nitin Paranjape as the company’s new MD and CEO. He replaces Douglas Baillie, who will now join the Unilever Executive, taking over as President for Western Europe. Paranjape, who had joined HUL as a management trainee 21 years ago, is currently serving as Executive Director, Home & Personal Care.
In a prepared statement, HUL Chairman Harish Manwani said, “Nitin brings with him significant experience of managing business and functional strengths in sales and marketing. I am confident that Nitin will bring further impetus to the company’s growth agenda.”
Climbing up the ranks quickly, Paranjape handled various departments with different responsibilities. In April 1996, he headed the Chennai branch and three years later was appointed a member of the Project Millennium Team. In 2000, he was entrusted with a review of the organisational structure at Unilever, London, before taking over as Category Head in India for some of the company products in 2002. He became Vice-President, Home Care, India, responsible for the top- and bottom-line of the homecare business.
This change is one of the many announced by Unilever at its headquarters in London, which included the combining of home and personal care and foods categories into a single category structure. The changes also reflect the company’s strategic focus on growth in developing markets. Central and Eastern Europe will, in future, be managed within an enlarged region comprising Asia, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe.
Manwani, who is also a member of Unilever Executive, will lead the new expanded region. Also, the roles of President, Home and Personal Care, and President, Foods, would be merged under the leadership of Manvinder Singh ‘Vindi’ Banga, who is currently President, Foods.
“'The changes reflect our strong commitment towards leadership development and our tradition of leveraging experiences and synergies of talent across markets,” added Manwani. Baillie had joined Unilever South Africa in 1978 and served in different capacities in South Africa, Britain, Australia and India.