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Harman Dhillon, Kartik Chandrasekhar, Arun Neelakantan join HUL Management Committee

The Beauty and Personal Care division will transition into dedicated Beauty & Wellbeing (B&W) and Personal Care (PC) businesses. Madhusudhan Rao, Executive Director, B&W and PC has decided to retire from the company

Hindustan Unilever announced key changes and appointments to its Management Committee (MC).

The Beauty and Personal Care division will transition into dedicated Beauty & Wellbeing (B&W) and Personal Care (PC) businesses. This change will be effective April 1, 2024.

Madhusudhan Rao, Executive Director, B&W and PC has decided to retire from the Company.

Harman Dhillon (44) will join the HUL MC as Executive Director, Beauty & Wellbeing.

Kartik Chandrasekhar (48) will join the MC as Executive Director, Personal Care. Dhillon and Chandrasekhar will assume their new offices from April 1, 2024.

Arun Neelakantan (43) will join the HUL MC as Chief Digital Officer (CDO). Neelakantan’s appointment will be effective January 1, 2024.

Dhillon, currently India Skin Care Head, joined HUL in 2006, and over the last 17 years, she has built expertise in Beauty & Wellbeing. Between 2015-16, Dhillon led the TRESemmé business as Global Brand Director, based out of London. She launched two iconic haircare brands, Dove Hair and TRESemmé, in India. Her deep understanding of the consumer and beauty categories resulted in several path-breaking marketing campaigns such as the Dove ‘Stop the Beauty Test’ and Clinic Plus ‘Meri Beti Strong’. In recent years, she led a transformation of the Skin Care business, with a comprehensive revamp of brands like Lakmé.

Chandrasekhar is currently the Global Vice-President and Head of Oral Care & Skin Cleansing for D&E markets. Chandrasekhar joined HUL as a Management trainee in 1998, and since then, he has worked across Unilever businesses in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In his career spanning more than 25 years, Chandrasekhar has worked in Marketing across categories. In his previous role as the Global Vice President for Lifebuoy, he led the brand to become the world’s no 1 hygiene brand and carried out one of the largest skin cleansing market development activities with the Lifebuoy handwashing campaign. In his current role, he has significantly strengthened the competitiveness of Oral Care globally in Unilever.

Neelakantan, currently Vice-President, Digital Transformation and Growth, joined HUL in 2006 and has a proven track record in various roles in Customer Development and Marketing. He has robust experience across General Trade, Modern Trade, Customer Marketing and Brand Building. In his previous role as Regional Manager, leading the company’s largest branch in Chennai, Neelakantan was able to deliver market-beating growth consistently. In his current role, Neelakantan helped accelerate HUL’s journey towards being an intelligent enterprise through cross-functional collaboration.

Rohit Jawa, CEO and Managing Director, HUL, said, “HUL has a track record of strong performance. As we embark on our next phase of growth and transformation, we will combine our scale and discipline with innovation and agility to serve our consumers even better and build a future-fit business. BPC continues to be a source of value creation for us. However, the business model, innovation rhythm and competitive landscape for both, B&W and PC are diverging. The transition will allow us to bring more focus, and leverage our strong portfolio in both businesses. I am glad to have seasoned business leaders like Harman and Kartik to lead B&W and PC, respectively.”

Commenting on the addition of Arun Neelakantan as the CDO and welcoming him to the HUL Management Committee, Jawa said, “As a company, we need to stay ahead of the trends, build new capabilities, and leverage technology to be future-ready. I am confident that Arun will help the company leverage the digital infrastructure in India and accelerate the next phase of HUL’s transformation programme.”

Jawa also thanked Rao for his contribution to the business. “Madhu has had an exemplary 32-year-long career with Unilever, with a proven track record across many geographies and businesses. He leaves behind a rich legacy, and I would like to thank him for his immense contribution and wish him the very best for his next innings.”

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