HUL’s CFO Ramamurthy to be Unilever SVP finance

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FMCG giant picks up another employee from its Indian division

Nearly eight months after HUL’s chief executive Nitin Paranjpe was elevated to a plum global posting in July 2013, FMCG giant Unilever has picked up another employee from its Indian subsidiary. It has appointed HUL’s chief financial officer Sridhar Ramamurthy an SVP (finance), a part of the global markets executive of Unilever. He will be based in London.

PB Balaji at present VP (finance) at Unilever Americas supply chain, will succeed Sridhar as executive director finance and IT, and CFO of HUL. The changes are effective from July 1, said the firm.

Prior to Paranjpe, the last such global posting for an HUL official was that of Harish Manwani, as the COO of Unilever and non-executive chairman of HUL, in June 2011. Over last couple of years, the lack of global growth opportunities at HUL is believed to have forced several top-level exits.

While, executive director (home and personal care), Gopal Vittal joined Bharti Airtel as executive director, Shrijeet Mishra joined BCCL. Analysts say Ramamurthy’s elevation comes at a time when HUL is battling a slowdown and the company has started losing market share at the lower end of the market across key categories such as detergents, soaps and toothpastes.

Balaji will join the board of directors of HUL and will be part of the management committee of HUL. His appointment was approved by the board of directors of HUL on Tuesday after the nomination and remuneration committee recommended his name to the board. The appointment approved by the board is subject to such statutory approvals as may be applicable.

Balaji joined HUL in May 1993 and has worked in different roles in HUL. Prior to moving to Unilever in 2011, Balaji was vice president, finance for the Home and Personal care business of HUL. Sridhar joined the company in 1989 and worked in a number of finance and commercial roles in India till December 2002.

In January 2003, Sridhar moved to Singapore to take up the position of VP (finance) and controller, home and personal care business group for Unilever in Asia. With the changes to the Unilever organisation during 2005-08, his role expanded over the years andhe was appointed as vice president (finance and controller), UnileverAsia, Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Central & Eastern Europe (AACEE), the largest of the three regions of Unilever. On his return to India, Sridhar was appointed as ED finance & IT and chief financial officer of the company, effective July, 2009.


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