Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) announced on Friday that Sanjiv Mehta,currently chairman,North Africa & Middle East at parent firm Unilever,will replace Nitin Paranjpe as managing director and chief executive officer effective October 1. HULs decision to effect a change at the helm comes in a year when at least half-a-dozen consumer goods firms in the country have already announced top-level management changes.
In his new role,Mehta will also be responsible for the South Asia cluster that includes Pakistan,Sri Lanka,Bangladesh and Nepal,apart from India. Paranjpe is to join the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE),taking on the role of president,home care,and thereby follow in the footsteps of his predecessors,Harish Manwani and MS Banga,who have moved from executive positions in HUL to bigger roles in Unilevers global operations.
Interestingly,the change of guard comes on a day when HUL,which markets brands such as Lux,Lifebuoy,Surf Excel,Pepsodent and Knorr soups,reported the slowest sales growth in more than three years,with the countrys largest consumer goods maker disappointing the Street on almost all key financial parameters.
The results for the quarter ending June,2013 underscores a warning by its parent,Unilever,that growth in emerging markets was no longer immune to the global economic weakness. The companys shares fell 3.38 per cent to Rs 663.30 on the BSE after dropping as much as 5.9 per cent intra-day. Apart from HUL,the other major FMCG companies that have announced a change of guard at the helm include Britannia Industries Ltd,Nestle India and Mondelez International.
On Thursday,Mondelez had announced that former PepsiCo India head Manu Anand will replace Anand Kripalu as the India head of the firm that owns chocolate maker Cadbury India. Kripalu is expected to join Diageo,the British liquor giant that has taken a controlling stake in United Spirits.
On May 27,Britannia,the maker of Good Day and Tiger biscuits,named former PepsiCo Food India chief executive officer Varun Berry as the person who would lead India operations,while managing director Vinita Bali would focus on international business.
Earlier,on May 24,Nestle India informed the BSE about plans to appoint the chief executive officer of Nestle Central and West Africa,Etienne Benet,as its new managing director in place of Antonio Helio Waszyk effective October.
Mehtas appointment,approved by HULs board at its meeting in Mumbai today,comes in a month when Unilever paid Rs 19,202 crore for 14.78 per cent more in the Indian unit,taking Unilevers stake in HUL to 67.28 per cent from 52.5 per cent.
The stake effectively gives the Anglo-Dutch firm sufficient room to elevate its participation in HULs operations,apart from a larger chunk of the latters profit and dividends.
Firms net drops 23% in June quarter
Mumbai: Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Friday reported a 23.43 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 1,019.25 crore in the June quarter from a year ago.
However,net profit after ordinary activities and before exceptional items grew 3.6 per cent,the company said. During the latest quarter,sales in the companys domestic consumer business grew 7 per cent to Rs.6,420.45 from Rs.5995.61 crore a year ago. ens