The CEO factory contributes again 

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | Updated on: Mar 13, 2022

Former HUL executives are creating a buzz, landing key leadership positions

In the past few months, we have seen the Great Reshuffle play out in start-ups as well as traditional firms, with both sets bolstering their leadership. But nothing beats the contribution Hindustan Unilever has been making in key appointments with three HUL veterans taking on important leadership roles at other companies.

Prabha Narasimhan is set to take over as the Managing Director and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive (India) from September 1. The FMCG veteran was until recently serving as the Executive Director, Home Care Category at HUL and Vice President, Home Care, Unilever, South Asia. She is the first MD to come outside of the Colgate Palmolive system in the past 12 years.

She joined HUL in 2006 and has held a variety of roles in customer development, consumer marketing and innovation across geographies and multiple categories including home care, foods, personal and skin care.

After Hershey India’s Herjit Bhalla got elevated to a global role, the chocolate major turned to an HUL veteran to succeed him. In July last year, Geetika Mehta took over the position of Managing Director, Hershey India. Mehta had over 18 years of experience in the FMCG and food businesses in her previous stint as the General Manager for the Home and Hygiene business at HUL.

Effective October of last year, Sudhir Sitapati took over as the MD and CEO of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. Sitapati, who was at HUL for nearly 22 years, in his previous stint, held the position of Executive Director - Foods and Refreshments at HUL.

In his book, The CEO Factory, published in 2019, Sitapati estimated that over the years, HUL has produced over 400 CEOs/CXOs that have gone on to lead various Indian businesses after honing their skills at the organisation.

Abneesh Roy, Executive Director-Institutional Equities, Edelweiss Securities agrees. “HUL is seen as one of the best hiring grounds for not just FMCG companies, but most consumer facing sectors,” he stated in a note on March 10.

Published on March 13, 2022
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