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Unilever finance chief set to step down amid boardroom shake-up

Unilever’s chief financial officer will step down amid boardroom turmoil ahead of the arrival of a new CEO

Departure: Graeme Pitkethly

Unilever’s finance boss is leaving next year amid a stir in the run-up to the arrival of Hein Schumacher as CEO.

Graeme Pitkethly, who has been Chief Financial Officer of the consumer goods giant since 2015, will retire at the end of May next year.

The 56-year-old has been with Unilever since 2002 and previously led the company’s operations in the UK and Ireland.

The company did not explain the reason behind the finance director’s retirement, but added that a replacement is being sought.

Unilever boss Alan Jope thanked Pitkethly “for his enormous contribution to Unilever over the past 21 years”.

Jope added, “As CFO, he has brought great leadership to our company and has been instrumental in sharpening our strategy and driving an improvement in our operational performance.”

News of Pitkethly’s departure comes ahead of the arrival of Schumacher, who will replace Jope from July.

Unilever is struggling with skyrocketing inflation that has pushed up production costs while hurting shopper demand.

The company also hopes to appease activist investor Nelson Peltz, who secured a seat on the board last year.

There were also board changes at Swiss food company Nestle, which appointed Anna Manz, the former chief financial officer of the London Stock Exchange Group, to replace outgoing chief financial officer François-Xavier Roger.