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David Blanchard

David was appointed Chief R&D Officer in April 2014 and has been member of the Unilever Leadership Executive since January 2013.

David Blanchard

Chief R&D Officer

In his role as Chief R&D Officer, David is accountable for the development of R&D as a core engine of sustainable growth for Unilever. This includes oversight of the future development plans across R&D in the Divisions (Foods & Refreshment, Home Care, Beauty & Personal Care and Refreshment) plus direct leadership of the Global R&D Organisation. The latter houses the so-called Critical Functional Capabilities that span all R&D, such as Safety & Environmental Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Digital R&D, Clinicals and Open Innovation.

Also reporting to David in the Global R&D Organisation are the Strategic Science Group and New Businesses Unit, entities engaged in discovering and driving or incubating disruptive technology innovation for Unilever. David also has direct leadership of R&D in Unilever's Beauty & Personal Care Category, a position he has held since 2012.

David was appointed Senior Vice President, Unilever R&D in 2009. During his time in this role he led the transition of R&D at Unilever into a more category focused function, culminating in the new R&D organisation announced in February 2012.

David joined Unilever in 1986 as Development Manager for Spreads. A decade later he transferred to Van den Bergh Foods (which merged with Lipton in 1997), in Baltimore, as Director of Product Development for margarine and spreads.

From 1999-2005 David held increasingly senior roles in R&D and Supply Chain in Foods & Refreshment North America and Foods & Refreshment Latin America. In 2004, David was appointed VP, R&D for Global Dressings.

In 2005 David was appointed SVP, Marketing Operations Foods & Refreshment Americas with responsibility for business development and strategic planning for Foods & Refreshment throughout North and South America. In January 2007, he was appointed Chairman of Unilever Canada Inc. based in Toronto.

David is a graduate of the University of Salford in Manchester, UK. He is married to Anne with three children: Isobel, Edward and Lucas.

History

  • 2013: Appointed Chief R&D Officer and member of the Unilever Leadership Executive
  • 2009: SVP, Unilever R&D
  • 2007: Chairman of Unilever Canada Inc.
  • 2005: SVP, Marketing Operations Foods & Refreshment Americas
  • 1999 - 2005: Held various senior roles in R&D and Supply Chain in Foods & Refreshment North America and Foods LATAM
  • 2004: VP, R&D Global Dressings
  • 1996: Director of Product Development for Margarine and Spreads at Van den Bergh Foods (which merged with Lipton in 1997)
  • 1986: Joined Unilever as Development Manager, Spreads
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