Indian Born Leena Nair Becomes CEO Of Chanel
PARIS – On Tuesday, Chanel chose Leena Nair, a consumer goods executive from Unilever (ULVR.L), as its next global CEO, appointing a consumer goods veteran to lead one of the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerates.
Nair spent 30 years at Unilever, most recently as the company’s chief of human resources and a member of the executive committee.
Nair is a rare outsider at the helm of the tightly controlled family design firm, noted for its tweed suits, quilted purses, and No. 5 perfume. He is a British national who was born in India.
The 52-year-old succeeds Maureen Chiquet, a fashion industry veteran who served as CEO of Chanel for nine years until early 2016.
Chanel began as a hat shop on rue Cambon in Paris in 1910, created by fashion queen Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, and has since grown to become synonymous with French elegant.
Nair, who handled 150,000 people at Unilever, will join the group at the end of January and will be located in London, according to the group. It went on to say that the new hires would safeguard the company’s “long-term success as a private enterprise.”
Nair took to Twitter to express her gratitude to the “iconic” and “admired” company.
She wrote, “I am humbled and honoured to be appointed the Global Chief Executive Officer of @CHANEL, an iconic and admired company.”
She further added, “I am so inspired by what @CHANEL stands for. It is a company that believes in the freedom of creation, in cultivating human potential and in acting to have a positive impact in the world.”
Indian CEOs on the global platform
With her appointment, Nair has become the latest to join the list of Indian CEOs on the global platform.
Here’s a look at other Indians working as CEOs for international brands:
1. Parag Agarwal: An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Parag was appointed as the CEO of Twitter on November 29, 2021. He was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
2. Satya Nadella: Appointed as Microsoft’s Chairman on June 16, 2021, Nadella is an alumnus of Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka and hails from Hyderabad.
3. Sundar Pichai: Born in Chennai, Sundar Pichai was appointed as the CEO of Google on August 15, 2015. He earned his B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.
4. Shantanu Narayen: Hyderabad-born Shantanu Narayen was appointed as the CEO of Adobe Inc. on December 1, 2007.
5. Arvind Krishna: Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Krishna was appointed as the CEO of computer hardware company IBM in January 2020.