Unilever to appoint ex-Bristol Myers man as next CFO

UNILEVER, the company behind Marmite, Magnum ice creams and Dove soap, is poised to appoint Jean-Marc Huet as its next chief financial officer, City A.M. can confirm.

Sources said Unilever will announce the appointment either today or tomorrow.

Huet resigned as finance chief of Bristol-Myers Squibb yesterday. The pharmaceutical company said he would leave at the end of the year as he wants to return to Europe.

At Unilever, Huet will replace Jim Lawrence, who became the latest executive to leave the consumer goods giant last week, after losing out to Paul Polman in the race for the top job a year ago.

Before joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in March last year, Huet served as finance chief of Royal Numico, the Dutch baby food company acquired by Danone. From 1993 to 2003, he worked as an executive director of investment banking services at Goldman Sachs in London. He holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Insead, the French business school.

More than 40 of the top 100 executives at Unilever have left since Polman took over as chief executive.

But the company has played down talk of a boardroom bust-up, saying Lawrence was getting no payoff, and that he was not selling any of his $8-$9m (£4.9-£5.5m) worth of shares.

Lawrence said last Thursday he would be available to hand over to his successor.
Unilever declined to comment on the appointment of Huet.