Unilever share price: Bernstein says consumer goods group’s CEO in no rush to quit

Paul Polman prefers internal successor

Unilever share price: Bernstein says consumer goods group’s CEO in no rush to quit

Unilever’s (LON:ULVR) chief executive may stay long enough to see the company through to its 2020 targets and would prefer an internal candidate as his replacement, Reuters has reported, quoting brokerage Bernstein. The news comes after it emerged in November last year that the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant had drafted in a top firm of headhunters to help board members identify a successor to Polman.

Unilever’s share price has fallen into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.37 percent to 4.183.50p as of 14:42 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.21 percent higher at 7,705.92 points. The group’s shares have lost a little over three percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.6-percent rise in the Footsie.

Unilever CEO in no rush to quit

Reuters reported today that Unilever’s chief executive Paul Polman had told Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood in an interview the brokerage hosted last week that the company needed “to do a few things that we’re in the middle of now that I am probably better-placed for finishing”. He, however, also noted that he would encourage the company to take an internal candidate.

“We have some very good people that can follow me,” Polman told Bernstein, which has identified possible candidates for the top job, including the company’s Personal Care segment president Alan Jope, Home Care president Kees Kruythoff, Foods and Refreshment division president Nitin Paranjpe and North America president Amanda Sourry.

Analyst ratings update

JPMorgan Chase & Co, which see Unilever as a ‘neutral,’ set a price target of 4,400p on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 4,391.76p.

As of 15:13 BST, Thursday, 31 May, Unilever plc share price is 4,190.50p.

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