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Indian origin Leena Nair appointed Global CEO of French fashion giant Chanel
Leena Nair
Image Credit: wikipedia.org

Indian origin Leena Nair appointed Global CEO of French fashion giant Chanel

| @indiablooms | 15 Dec 2021, 01:14 am

London/IBNS: Leena Nair, a top Unilever executive, has been named the Global CEO of the French luxury group Chanel on Tuesday.

This comes just two years after Sundar Pichai was elevated as the boss at Alphabet, five months after Satya Nadella's appointment as the chairman at Microsoft and less than a month after Parag Agrawal succeeded Jack Dorsey at Twitter,

Nair would join the group in January, the French luxury brand said in a statement.

The group said that the recent appointments would ensure its "long-term success as a private company."

Nair, 52, holds the distinction of being "the first female, first Asian, youngest ever" chief human resources officer (CHRO) of Unilever, according to media reports.

The group said in a statement that French billionaire Alain Wertheimer, who owns Chanel with his brother Gerard Wertheimer, would move to the role of global executive chairman, according to media reports.

In all the statements about Nair's appointment as the Global Chief Executive, the group described her as one who "delivers business outcomes while retaining a humane and compassionate approach".

Chanel's statement remarked on her “global reputation for progressive and human-centered leadership, delivering significant business impact”.

The company described her as a “visionary leader whose ability to champion a long-term, purpose-driven agenda is matched with a consistently strong record of business outcomes”.

Alan Jope, Unilever’s CEO, thanked Nair for her “outstanding contribution”.

“Leena has been a pioneer throughout her career at Unilever, but no more so than in her role as CHRO, where she has been a driving force on our equity, diversity and inclusion agenda, on the transformation of our leadership development, and on our preparedness for the future of work. She has played a critical role in building our purpose-led, future-fit organisation, which is now the employer of choice in over 50 countries globally,” he said.

Her career in the consumer goods sector spanned 30 years. She joined Hindustan Unilever in 1992 after an MBA from one of the top B-schools in the country--the Xavier School of Management--with a gold medal.

Nair, who hails from Maharashtra's Kolhapur and is an engineering graduate from Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli (Maharashtra), took to Twitter after being appointed as the Global Chief Executive. "I am humbled and honoured to be appointed the Global Chief Executive Officer of @CHANEL, an iconic and admired company," she wrote.

As chief of human resources, she handled “the many challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic with great care, compassion and professionalism,” Jope said.

In 1993, she joined as the factory personnel manager of Lipton (India) Ltd.

In the early years, she worked in HUL factories in West Bengal's Kolkata, Tamil Nadu's Ambattur and Maharashtra's Taloja.

In 1996, she was appointed as Employee Relations Manager by HUL, and in 2000, promoted as HR manager of Hindustan Lever India.

She was appointed as the general manager HR of 'home and personal care India' by the company in 2006 and also assumed the responsibility of the company's global head of diversity in the same year.

Nair joined the Unilever Leadership Executive, based in London, in 2016 and became the youngest first woman and first Asian to be elevated as the CHRO.

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