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David Blanchard

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

David Blanchard

Chief R&D Officer

David also has direct leadership of R&D in Unilever's Beauty & Personal Care Category, a position he has held since 2012. 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 and Beauty & Personal Care) plus direct leadership of the Global R&D Organisation.

The latter houses the Strategic Science Group and the Critical Functional Capabilities that span all R&D, such as Safety & Environmental Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Digital R&D, Clinicals and Open Innovation. Before this role, David was Chief Category R&D Officer since 2013.

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.

In January 2007, he was appointed Chairman of Unilever Canada Inc. based in Toronto.

From 1999-2005 David held increasingly senior roles in R&D and Supply Chain in Foods North America and Foods Latin America. In 2004, David was appointed VP, R&D for Global Dressings. In 2005 David was appointed SVP, Marketing Operations Foods Americas with responsibility for business development and strategic planning for Foods throughout North and South America.

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.

Outside of Unilever, Mr. Blanchard also services as a non-executive director of Ingleby Farms and Forests.

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


  • 2014: Appointed as Non-Executive Director of Ingleby Farms and Forests
  • 2014: Appointed Chief R&D Officer
  • 2013: Appointed Chief Category 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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