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Unilever Chief Executive Officer Alan Jope will leave the company at the end of 2023, the company announced on Monday.

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“As I approach my fifth year as CEO and after over 35 years at Unilever, I believe now is the right time for the Board of Directors to begin a formal search for my successor,” Jope said in a press release. company release. “Growth remains our top priority, and in the coming quarters I will be fully focused on the disciplined execution of our strategy and taking full advantage of our new organization.”

Jope, 59, has been at the helm since January 2019, following the departure of Paul Polman. The outgoing CEO joined Unilever as an intern in 1985 and worked in various sales and marketing roles before leading several of the group’s divisions, including beauty and self careand company activities in China.

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The British multinational consumer goods company owns several well-known brands, including Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Dove soap and Cif and Domestos cleaning products.

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Unilever board of directors will now conduct a formal search for the company’s next CEO and will consider both internal and external candidates, the press release said.

“Unilever has achieved improved performance through clear strategic choices and significant company transformation,” Unilever Chairman Niels Andersen said in a press release. “Now the Board of Directors will conduct a streamlined succession process and support Alan and the management team in further improving Unilever’s performance.”

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“Alan’s retirement next year will mark the end of a wonderful career at Unilever,” Anderson continued. “Under his leadership, Unilever has made important changes to its strategy, structure and organization that have cemented its success. This work is ongoing and we would like to thank Alan from the bottom of our hearts for his leadership and contributions to our business when he retires next year.”

Jope’s announcement came amid pressure from shareholders to improve Unilever’s efficiency. The company failed to close a deal to acquire GSK’s consumer health division for $53 billion.

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Unilever said last month that its sales were impacted by consumer preference for cheaper versions of its products as the company’s prices rose.