Unilever CFO to step down

Jim Lawrence to leave Unilever at end of year.

Unilever today announced that its Chief Financial Officer, James A Lawrence, has decided to resign from the boards of Unilever.

Lawrence, 57, who joined the company in September 2007, will step down from the boards of Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V. at the end of the year.

Lawrence said: "It's been an excellent time for me and I have made many good friends among my colleagues in the company. I'm delighted that Unilever is in such great shape for our shareholders and, having seen the company through an important period of transition, I'm now looking forward to pursuing new opportunities."

Michael Treschow, Chairman of Unilever, said: "I greatly appreciate Jim's significant contribution, both as Unilever's Chief Financial Officer and as a fellow board member and I wish him every success in the future."

Paul Polman, Chief Executive of Unilever, said: "We'd all like to thank Jim for the valuable experience and perspective he brought to Unilever during an important period in the company's development. We wish him well in his future endeavours."

Jim Lawrence will make himself available in the New Year to facilitate a smooth transition to his successor who will be announced shortly.


Notes to Editors:

  • Mr Lawrence, 57, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Yale University. He was Chief Financial Officer of General Mills, Inc. from 1998 to 2007 and in 2006 he was additionally appointed Vice Chairman.

  • Mr Lawrence previously worked at Northwest Airlines as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that he was President, Pepsi-Cola, Asia Middle East and Africa.

  • Earlier in his career he was with Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company. In 1983 he co-founded LEK Consulting, a business strategy consultancy.

  • Mr Lawrence is a non-executive director and chairman of the remuneration committee at British Airways plc.

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Safe harbour statement

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends' or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, including financial objectives to 2010, and their negatives are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, competitive pricing and activities, consumption levels, costs, the ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain sources, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions and complete planned divestitures, the ability to complete planned restructuring activities, physical risks, environmental risks, the ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments, political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report & Accounts on Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based

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