Branding expert Jope succeeds Polman as Unilever CEO

Here’s Alan Jope, the new CEO of Unilever, talking to then JWT boss Bob Jeffrey about branding in China.

Jope succeeds Paul Polman, who transformed Unilever in many ways with his sustainability platform but, like most long-serving CEOs (Polman served over ten years), put his foot in it latterly with the failed attempt to move Unilever’s stock market listing to Rotterdam.

Jope, a Unilever lifer, is currently head of its Beauty and Personal Care division.

When this was shot five years ago JWT was still in a position of strength, helmed by the affable Jeffrey. Then came Gustavo Martinez and the prolonged car crash that has seen JWT subsumed by Wunderman. Unilever has been a JWT client for over a hundred years.

Jope clearly knows his marketing onions. As, of course, does Unilever CMO Keith Weed (presumably also a candidate for the top job.) Will Unilever’s agencies have an easier time under Jope than latterly under Polman and Weed?

Um, no, probably.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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