Paul Polman became an Executive Director of Unilever in October 2008, and assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2009.
Paul earned a BBA/BA from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, in 1977 and an MBA/MA in economics and finance from the University of Cincinnati in 1979. He has honorary degrees from the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle, UK (2000) and the University of Cincinnati, USA (2009).
Paul began his career at Procter & Gamble in 1979, and was group president Europe and officer of the Procter & Gamble Company until 2006.
Prior to joining Unilever, Paul was chief financial officer of Nestlé S.A. from January 2006 as well as executive vice president for the Americas from February 2008.
Paul serves as President of the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust and Chairman of Perkins International Advisory Board. He is a member of the United National Global Compact Board and the Scaling Up Nutrition Lead Group, Co-Chair of the B20 Food Security Task-Force, Vice Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Member of the European Resource Efficiency Task Force, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, and the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce, and a Director of Conservation International.
He is also on the Board of the Consumer Goods Forum where he co-chairs the Board Strategy and also the Sustainability Committees. He is a Trustee of the Leverhulme Trust, a former board member of Alcon and, since February 2010, a non-executive director of The Dow Chemical Company.
Recognised by Investor Magazine as chief financial officer of the year 2007, Paul received the Carl Lindner award from the University of Cincinnati in 2006 and was the WSJ/CNBC European Business Leader of the Year 2003. In May 2012 he received the Atlantic Council Distinguished Business Leadership Award.
Married with three children, Paul’s interests include reading, marathon running, and mountaineering, but his main passion is for his role in running the Kilimanjaro Blind trust.