The gospel according to Paul

IRONIES ARE rarely so pointed as this. As chief executive for ten years of Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods group, Paul Polman was a champion of business ethics and corporate sustainability. But after shareholders revolted against a plan to move the group’s headquarters to Rotterdam, his own position became, well, unsustainable. He will leave his post at the end of this year.

The company says Mr Polman was always set to leave at some point in 2019. But to announce his retirement only a month in advance strongly suggests an accelerated schedule. It is a shame that he is leaving on a low note. Mr Polman has been one of the most interesting and distinctive chief executives of a large multinational anywhere in the world.

By coincidence, the day after the announcement, Mr Polman was speaking at the Drucker forum in Vienna, an annual gathering for management theorists. He stuck resolutely to his favourite themes,...



via Business Feeds

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