Harish Manwani, chief operating officer, Unilever, will retire from his post on December 31. He will be stepping down after being with the company for 38 years. He will, however, continue as non-executive chairman of Hindustan Unilever, the company said.
Under his leadership, there has been a focus on flawless execution globally. He has also role-modelled the 4G sustainable growth model. Says Manwani, "I am deeply grateful to all those colleagues who have helped to make the last 38 years at HUL and Unilever so memorable and fulfilling. It has been a privilege to serve such a great company. Today, Unilever is in a strong position with a clear strategy and capabilities to drive long-term responsible growth. This makes it a good time for me to make this personal transition. I look forward to working with Paul and the leadership team over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and to further build our growth agenda."
He joined Hindustan Lever (HLL) in 1976, becoming a member of the HLL board 1995 as director responsible for the personal products business. As category leader, he also held regional responsibility for the Central Asia and Middle East business group.
In 2000, Manwani moved to the UK as SVP, Global Hair Care and Oral Care, and in 2001 was appointed president, Home and Personal Care, Latin America business group. He also served as chairman of Unilever's Latin America Advisory Council.
In 2004, he was appointed president and CEO of the HPC North America business group, and in April 2005 joined as president, Asia Africa. Manwani is an honours graduate from Mumbai University and has a master's degree in management studies. He also attended the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.