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French Fashion House, CHANEL, Declares Leena Nair As Its Global CEO

French Fashion House, CHANEL, Declares Leena Nair As Its Global CEO

French Fashion House, CHANEL, Declares Leena Nair As Its Global CEO

Barely two years after Sundar Pichai became boss at Alphabet, five months after Satya Nadella became chairman at Microsoft, and less than a month after Parag Agrawal succeeded Jack Dorsey at Twitter, another Indian has bagged a coveted role, only this time in the fashion industry. Leena Nair has been named CEO of the French luxury group Chanel.

The group on Tuesday named Unilever executive Nair as its new Global Chief Executive, based in London.

All the statements regarding the 52-year-old Nair’s appointment, whether from the luxury brand or the consumer leader, highlight her ability to deliver business outcomes while retaining a humane and compassionate approach.

Chanel’s statement remarked on Nair’s “global reputation for progressive and human-centered leadership, delivering significant business impact”. It described her as a “visionary leader whose ability to champion a long-term, purpose-driven agenda is matched with a consistently strong record of business outcomes”.

Currently, Leena Nair is Unilever’s CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) and a member of the company’s Leadership Executive (ULE). She will join the French luxury firm in January and will be based in London.


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A gold medallist from XLRI, Leena Nair is credited for several HR interventions, including ‘Career by Choice’, a program that allows women who have fallen off the career ladder to re-join the workforce. Nair, 52, shifted from India to the London headquarters of the Anglo-Dutch company in 2013 as its global senior vice-president for leadership and organization development. She was later elevated in 2016 and became Unilever’s first female and youngest-ever CHRO.

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed the global chief executive officer of Chanel, an iconic and admired company. 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,” Nair said on Linkedin. “I am grateful for my long career at Unilever, a place that has been my home for 30 years. It has given me so many opportunities to learn, grow and contribute to a truly purpose-driven organization. I will always be a proud advocate of Unilever and its ambition to make sustainable living commonplace.”

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