Global FMCG giant Unilever has appointed India-born Harish Manwani, 57, as its chief operating officer as part of a global reorganisation in the business structure of the company to drive future growth. The company said it has made changes to its category and go-to-market structure to further support its growth plans, especially in fast developing businesses in emerging markets.
“As part of changes, Harish Manwani will be appointed as COO with effect from September 1 and will take responsibility for all markets in order to drive speed to market behind further simplification and efficiency,” Unilever said in a statement.
The company has created the post of COO with an eye on tapping opportunities in emerging markets. This is the first time that an Indian has risen to this level in the company to lead the business.
Harish Manwani is currently the President, Asia Africa, Central and Eastern Europe. He had joined Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL), now Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), in 1976 and became a board member of HLL in 1995 as director responsible for the Personal Products business.
In 2004, he was appointed President and CEO of the Home and Personal Care North America business group, and in April, 2005, joined the Unilever Executive as President, Asia Africa. Following the implementation of the new structure, Dave Lewis, currently President, Americas, will be appointed as President, Personal Care, consisting of skin, deodorants, oral and hair.