Hindustan Unilever, India's largest FMCG company, announced on Friday that Nitin Paranjpe (50), its MD and CEO, will move to London as global president of its home care division.
Sanjiv Mehta (53), chairman, Unilever, North Africa and Middle East, will succeed Paranjpe as MD and CEO of HUL with effect from October 1, 2013.
Paranjpe follows a long line of Indian managers who have reached the top echelons of the Anglo-Dutch MNC (which owns popular brands such as Lux, Surf, Brooke Bond, Kissan and Lakme, among hundreds of others).
T Thomas, Ashok Ganguly, Keki Dadiseth, MS 'Vindi' Banga and Harish Manwani, all of whom have headed Hindustan Lever (as HUL was called till 2007), have subsequently moved on to global roles within Unilever.
Manwani, non-executive chairman of HUL, is currently chief operating officer of Unilever, the highest position occupied by an Indian at the company.
"The changes reflect our strong commitment towards leadership development and our tradition of leveraging experiences and synergies across markets," Manwani said in a statement about the new appointments.
Paranjpe will also be a member of the Unilever Leadership Executive, the company's highest executive body.
Mehta's appointment has been approved by the HUL board but will need to be ratified by the company's shareholders. This, however, is a formality as Unilever owns a 75% stake in HUL.
The company has a reputation for throwing up top flight managers, who have gone on to play bigger roles in Unilever's operations across the world as well as in other companies.
In 2011, HUL was ranked sixth in the list of "Top Companies for Leaders" announced by Fortune, Aon Hewitt and RBL Group. It was the only Indian company in the Top 10 global list.