Congratulations! Leena Nair appointed global CEO of fashion label Chanel
Indian-origin Leena Nair has been named the new Global Chief Executive of Chanel. She will be joining the company next January. The 52-year-old was the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) of Unilever and its Leadership Executive member. Alain Wertheimer, who co-owns the French luxury group with his brother Gerard Wertheimer, vacated the position to become the Global Executive Chairman, paving way for Nair's appointment.
Why does this story matter?
Nair is the latest addition to the list of Indians or Indian-origins heading global outfits after Sundar Pichai (Alphabet and Google), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), and Parag Agrawal (Twitter). After Indra Nooyi, she's the second Indian-origin woman to take over as a global CEO. At Unilever, Nair was the first woman, first Asian, and the youngest person to hold such a high post (CHRO).
Will always be a proud advocate of Unilever, says Nair
After the news surfaced, Nair wrote online, "I am humbled and honored to be appointed the Global Chief Executive Officer of @CHANEL, an iconic and admired company. I will always be a proud advocate of @Unilever and its ambition to make sustainable living commonplace." A British national, but born and educated in India, Nair has been with the FMCG company for 30 years.
Nair's office will be based out of London, reports suggested
Nair is one of the few outsiders to get such a top position in the usually family-run fashion house. According to reports, her office will be based out of London, even though she has not confirmed anything about this. A native of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Nair graduated from XLRI (Xavier School of Management), Jamshedpur, with a gold medal in 1992, and then joined Hindustan Unilever.
While at Unilever, Nair was posted in three different locations
At Unilever, she worked in three different locations: Kolkata (West Bengal), Ambattur (Tamil Nadu), and Taloja (Maharashtra). In 2007, she became the first woman in 90 years to get appointed as Hindustan Unilever HR, which proved to be a turning point for her career. Unilever CEO Alan Jope said, "I would like to thank Leena for her outstanding contribution over the last three decades."
'She has been a driving force on our equity, diversity'
"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," he added.