French fashion house Chanel appointed Leena Nair, an executive from Unilever as its new Global CEO on 14th December. Nair will succeed interim CEO and co-owner Alain Wertheimer in January 2022 and will be based in London.
Nair’s career at Unilever spanned 30 years, most recently as the chief of human resources and a member of the company’s executive committee.
Chanel’s decision to pick a consumer goods veteran to run one of the world’s biggest luxury goods groups follows a trend of attracting top executives from the consumer packaged goods industry commented Bernstein luxury goods analyst Luca Solca.
The 52-year-old follows U.S. businesswoman Maureen Chiquet, who came from a fashion background and was CEO of Chanel for nine years until early 2016.
Alain Wertheimer, a 73-year-old French billionaire who owns Chanel with his brother Gerard Wertheimer and had originally taken on the CEO job on a temporary basis, will move to the role of global executive chairman.
Chanel was founded in 1910 by fashion legend Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel as a hat boutique on rue Cambon in Paris and grew to become a byword for French chic.