PARIS — French luxury group Chanel has named Leena Nair as its new Global Chief Executive, based in London. The group said in a statement that Alain Wertheimer would move to the role of global executive chairman.
According to a press release, Leena Nair will be leaving her position as the Chief Human Resources Officer at Unilever in January 2022, to join Chanel.
Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, said: “I would like to thank Leena for her outstanding contribution over the last three decades. Leena has been a pioneer throughout her career at Unilever, but no more so than in her role as CHRO, where she has been a driving force on our equity, diversity and inclusion agenda, on the transformation of our leadership development, and on our preparedness for the future of work. She has played a critical role in building our purpose-led, future-fit organisation, which is now the employer of choice in over 50 countries globally.
Leena Nair belongs to Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India, where she studied at the Holy Cross Convent school. Before graduating from XLRI Jamshedpur as the Gold Medalist (1990-1992), she studied electronics engineering at Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli in Maharashtra.
Nair has been part of Unilever for over 30 years. In 2007, Nair became the Hindustan Unilever’s youngest executive director and the first woman in the Management Committee of Hindustan Unilever in 90 years. She was appointed the first woman on Unilever South Asia Leadership Team a year later.
In 2016, Leena Nair became the first female, first Asian, youngest ever CHRO of Unilever and a key member of the Unilever Leadership Executive.