Chanel taps Unilever’s Indian-origin Chief Human Resources Officer Leena Nair as its new Global CEO


Making our inner fashionista and patriot happy, French luxury house Chanel appointed Unilever’s Chief Human Resources Officer Leena Nair as its new Global CEO. Born in Maharashtra's Kohlapur region, this makes Leena a second Indian-origin woman to take over a global position after PepsiCo's CEO Indra Nooyi who also happens to be her mentor. Talk about making it big!

Nair, who spent 3 long decades at Unilever as its CHRO is assumed to take over her new job from the end of January. She will be stepping into the role of Chanel’s co-owner Alain Wertheimer who will move further into the hierarchy as the global executive chair of Chanel, according to the luxury brand.


A post shared by Leena Nair (@leenanairhr)

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Making an official announcement of the same, Nair shared a post on her social media handle. “ I am so inspired by what Chanel stands for. It is a company that believes in the freedom of creation, in cultivating human potential and in acting to have a positive impact in the world,” her post read.

Chanel welcomed its new member onboard as well. Given her diverse background and expertise in human resources, Nair is expected to help Chanel advance its diversity and inclusion ambitions, as she did spectacularly at Unilever.

Joined as a management trainee in 1992, Nair was the first Indian-origin female who went on to become the youngest CHRO ever of Unilever, according to the company. In 2006, she became general manager HR of Hindustan Lever and by 2013, she went on to become senior vice president of HR Leadership and Organizational Development and global head of diversity. In 2016, Nair was finally offered the role of CHRO. “I am grateful for my long career at @Unilever, a place that has been my home for 30 years. It has given me so many opportunities to learn, grow and contribute to a truly purpose-driven organization. I will always be a proud advocate of Unilever and its ambition to make sustainable living commonplace,” she concluded her post.

Congratulations on your big achievement, Leena. You make us proud!

(Source- WWD, India Today)