Dave Lewis, Unilever Americas
Long-time Unilever man Dave Lewis faces the challenge of spearheading the integration of Alberto Culver – the consumer group’s biggest acquisition in 10 years.
The 45-year-old – who like his boss Paul Polman is a keen runner – is still new to his current role, having only been appointed head of Unilever’s Americas in March. However, he will be able to fall back on his past roles at the consumer company, mainly in the personal care business, as well as emerging markets in South America and Asia. Mr Lewis’s most recent experience as head of Unilever UK, where he oversaw the consolidation of three operating companies, will also come in handy.
He joined Lever Brothers as a marketing trainee after graduating from Trent Polytechnic in 1987, building his career in the home and personal care division. In 1996, he moved to South America.
Three years later, Mr Lewis arrived in Indonesia, witnessing the collapse of the Suharto regime after the Asian crisis. After a stint at Harvard, he returned to Europe to focus on home and personal care, first in central and eastern Europe and then the UK.
The father of two was promoted to Unilever UK chairman in 2007 and was in charge of such diverse brands as Marmite, Magnum and Persil.