Unilever freezes CEO salary until 2026

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Unilever freezes CEO salary until 2026
Credit: © Reuters.

Unilever (LON: ULVR )'s CEO Hein Schumacher, who took over in July, will have his annual salary of €1.85m frozen until 2026 as part of the company's efforts to align with shareholder views on market alignment post-appointment. This decision follows a review of Schumacher's pay package which garnered a 42% approval rate at the annual general meeting on the Director's Remuneration Report (DRR). An extensive engagement exercise was initiated with shareholders, who mostly agreed with Schumacher's pay but advocated for gradual market alignment.

Schumacher, the former CEO of FrieslandCampina, also has performance bonuses and share plan awards as part of his compensation. The next salary review is scheduled for 2026. In the meantime, Fernando Fernandez from the beauty and wellness division will succeed CFO Graeme Pitkethly, earning a €1.18m annual salary with additional bonuses and share awards.

In response to third-quarter and nine-month results showing a decline in food volumes, including the Magnum ice-cream brand, Schumacher introduced an action plan to improve financial performance. While food volumes decreased, volumes in other divisions such as personal care, home care, and beauty and wellbeing saw an increase.

As part of Schumacher's strategy emphasizing enhancing existing businesses and portfolio optimization, Unilever divested its majority stake in Dollar Shave Club. The men's grooming business had been acquired by Schumacher's predecessor, Alan Jope. Schumacher dismissed suggestions of spinning off Unilever's food operations and major acquisitions as value-creation opportunities. He also mentioned that the 2024 remuneration policy will be considered as part of the shareholder engagement process.

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