Chanel has named veteran Unilever executive Leena Nair its new London-based global chief executive officer, effective at the end of January 2022. The first female, first Asian, youngest ever CHRO of Unilever of the Unilever Leadership Executive Leena Nair (born 1969).
“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,” Chanel said in a brief statement.
Nair joins the French fashion and beauty giant from Unilever, where she had a 30-year career. She has served as the global consumer goods company’s chief human resources officer, and a member of the executive committee since 2016.
According to Chanel, Nair has “built a global reputation for progressive and human centered leadership, delivering significant business impact” and went on to describe her as a “highly respected as a visionary leader whose ability to champion a long-term, purpose-driven agenda is matched with a consistently strong record of business outcomes.”
Nair is also a non-executive member of British Telecom, a member of the Board of the Leverhulme Trust, and was a non-executive director on the U.K. Government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department.
Wertheimer assumed management of Chanel in 2016 following the surprise ouster of Maureen Chiquet, who had been its global chief executive officer since 2007. Revenues at privately held Chanel totaled $10.1 billion in 2020, down 18 percent at comparable rates.
Reporting the figures last June, the company noted that revenues grew by double digits in the first six months of 2021, and its full-year operating profit margin is on track to return to 2019 levels. The brand recently unveiled its Métiers d’Art collection at the French luxury house’s new center for specialty workshops on the outskirts of Paris.