Chanel poaches Unilever exec Leena Nair for CEO role

By Julia Wray | Published: 16-Dec-2021

Nair will take over luxury brand’s reins, while co-owner Alain Wertheimer becomes Global Executive Chairman

Luxury fashion and beauty house Chanel has named Leena Nair as its new Global CEO.

The FMCG veteran’s new role follows a 30-year stint at Unilever, where Nair most recently served as Chief of Human Resources and on the company’s Executive Committee.

Nair, an India-born British national, will take up the reins at the No5 fragrance maker in January where she will manage more than 27,000 people globally.

Meanwhile Alain Wertheimer, who co-owns Chanel with his brother Gerard, will become Global Executive Chairman.

In a press release, Chanel said: “This new partnership at the helm of the company, appointed by The Board of Chanel Limited (UK), will further ensure long-term success as a private company, believing in the freedom of creation, cultivating human potential and acting to have a positive impact in the world.”

The news follows a busy beauty year for Chanel in which the French icon celebrated the centenary of No5.

This summer, to mark the milestone, Chanel offered 17 beauty products based on No5, setting up factory-style ‘theme parks’ to immerse shoppers in the Chanel world.

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