One of the most recognised luxury fashion brands has announced British former consumer goods specialist Leena Nair as its new global CEO.
Born in India, a British national and a fashion industry outsider, Nair’s appointment as the boss of the French luxury giant is an unexpected move by the fashion house, known to be a tightly controlled family business.
Nair will take over the reins of Chanel from US businesswoman Maureen Chiquet. Unlike Nair, Chiquet joined the Parisian fashion house from a fashion background and ran the company for nine years until 2016.
Since then Alain Wetheimer, who owns Chanel with his brother, has acted as CEO on a temporary basis.
Nair will take up her role at the revered fashion house at the end of January and will continue to be based in London.
Nair, who sits on the Unilever executive committee, worked her way up at the consumer goods giant from a trainee on the factory floor to chief human resource officer over the course of 30 years.
Notably she was the first female, first Asian, and youngest ever chief human resource officer at Unilever.