Skip to content

Richard Slater

Richard was appointed Chief Research & Development Officer in April 2019 and is part of the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE).

Richard Slater profile

Chief Research & Development Officer

My purpose: inspire to create and build the impossible

Richard Slater, Chief Research & Development Officer

In his role as Chief Research & Development Officer, Richard is accountable for the development of R&D as a key growth driver for Unilever. This includes oversight of strategy and innovation across the three Divisions and leadership of key cross-R&D capabilities; Safety & Environmental Assurance (SEAC), Regulatory Affairs, Digital, Packaging and Operations.

Richard joined Unilever from GSK, where he held the position of Head of R&D for GSK Consumer Healthcare, part of the Executive Leadership Team and leading a transformation of R&D and innovation capability and performance.

Prior to GSK, Richard spent nine years at Reckitt Benckiser in a variety of R&D leadership roles across Consumer Healthcare, Personal Care and FMCG. He led the successful integration of several major acquisitions, and delivery of significant innovation platforms and growth across multiple categories and brands.

Richard started his career at Boots Healthcare International. He worked across various R&D and Supply technical, project management and leadership roles for global Consumer Healthcare and Personal Care brands.

Richard has a BSc (hons) in Microbiology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK). He is married with three sons and lives in the UK.



  • 2019: Joined Unilever as Chief Research and Development Officer
  • 2014: Head of R&D, Consumer Healthcare, GSK
  • 2012: Head of R&D, Consumer Healthcare, Reckitt Benckiser (RB)
  • 2010: Global Group Director / VP R&D Personal Care, RB
  • 2008: Global Director R&D, Aircare, RB
  • 2006: Global Director R&D, Analgesics & New Brands, RB
  • 1999: various roles, Consumer Healthcare, Boots Healthcare International