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Leena Nair has been chosen CEO of Chanel, a French fashion brand

Chanel on Tuesday named Leena Nair, a former Unilever executive, as the next global CEO, hiring a consumer goods veteran to run one of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands.

Leena Nair’s background-

Leena Nair (born 1969) is the CEO of Chanel and a British Indian businesswoman. Nair previously worked for Unilever as the Company’s Director of Human Resources and a member of the Unilever Board of Directors. Nair was in charge of human resources at Unilever, covering 190 countries and various regulatory and labor contexts. Unilever was named the # 1 Employer of Choice for FMCG Graduates in 54 countries under his leadership. She was in charge of the organization’s Diversity and Inclusion program, ensuring that its staff was diverse and inclusive. Nair is a supporter of compassionate leadership and people-centered workplaces.

Kolhapur, Maharashtra, is his hometown. She attended Holy Cross Convent High School in Kolhapur. She studied electrical engineering at the Walchand College of Engineering in Sangli before obtaining a gold medal from XLRI in 1990-1992. (Maharashtra). After working in Jamshedpur, she moved to three different factories in Kolkata, Ambattur, Tamil Nadu and Taloja, Maharashtra.

Nair, 52, began his career at Unilever in 1992 as a management trainee. She rose steadily through the ranks of Unilever, eventually becoming the company’s “first woman, first Asian and youngest” Human Resources Director (CHRO) in 2016. She also served on the executive committee of Unilever (ULE).

Previously, she worked for the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as a non-executive director.

“Throughout her career at Unilever, Leena has been a trailblazer, but no more so than in her role as HRD, where she has been a driving force behind our equity, diversity and inclusion agenda, of transformation. our leadership development, and our preparation for the future of work, ”Unilever CEO Alan Jope said in a statement announcing his departure.

Nair, a British national named to Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s most powerful women in 2021, is known for her people-centered approach to business. “If you take care of your people, they will take care of the business,” she told the publication.

After the former CEO of Pepsico, Indra Nooyi – who also happens to be his mentor – Nair is the second female CEO of the Indian-born company.

Nair worked at Unilever for 30 years, most recently as Director of Human Resources and a member of the Executive Committee. She’s a rare outsider at the helm of the tightly controlled family-owned design company known for its tweed suits, quilted handbags, and No.5 fragrance.

The 52-year-old succeeds Maureen Chiquet, an American entrepreneur with a background in design who ran Chanel for nine years until early 2016.

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Alain Wertheimer, a 73-year-old French billionaire who owned Chanel with his brother Gérard Wertheimer and who had been its temporary CEO, will now serve as global executive chairman.

Chanel was founded in 1910 as a rue Cambon hat boutique in Paris by fashion queen Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and has been synonymous with French elegance ever since.

Chanel is an upscale fashion brand based in Paris, France, founded in 1910 by seamstress Coco Chanel. It specializes in women’s ready-to-wear and luxury products and accessories. Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, grandchildren of Pierre Wertheimer, one of Coco Chanel’s first business partners, currently own the company.

Gabrielle Chanel earned the nickname “Coco” as a singer as a teenager. Coco Chanel responded to women’s tastes for the sophistication of clothing as a fashion designer, with blouses, suits, pants, dresses, and simple jewelry (gems ​​and jewelry) that replaced rich clothing and accessories. 19th century over-designed constrictors. Models, performers and actresses such as Margot Robbie, Lily-Rose Depp, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne Nana Komatsu, Jennie Kim and Marilyn Monroe have all been models for Chanel.

Chanel is famous for its Chanel No.5 perfume and the Chanel suit. Chanel used the Jersey fabric to create clothes that were both comfortable and inexpensive. Chanel changed both high and low couture (haute couture) and everyday fashion (ready-to-wear), replacing structural forms based on the corset and bodice with practical clothing that flattered the female figure.

The flat-chest garments made famous by Chanel couture in the 1920s were the opposite of the hourglass shape produced by late 19th-century fashion – the French Belle Époque (circa 1890-1914) and the era Edwardian United States Kingdom (circa 1901-1919). Chanel used hues generally associated with masculinity in Europe, such as gray and navy blue, to convey a sense of feminine confidence.

Quilted fabrics and leather trims were used in the clothes of the house of Chanel; the quilted construction reinforces the fabric, design and finish, resulting in a garment that retains its shape and function while being worn. The Chanel wool suit consists of a knee-length skirt and cardigan-style jacket trimmed with fur and black embroidery and gold buttons adorn the garment – is an example of such haute couture techniques. Two-tone pumps, jewelry, usually a pearl necklace and a leather handbag were the perfect complements.

Nair’s appointment comes at a time when the fashion industry is under pressure to be more inclusive. After starting out as an intern in the factory, he worked his way up the ranks at Unilever. Nair, who supervised 150,000 employees at Unilever, will join the company at the end of January and will be based in London, according to the company. The new hires will guarantee the company’s “long-term success as a private enterprise,” the statement said.

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According to a Harper’s Bazaar article published last month, under his leadership, Unilever has achieved gender parity in global management, as well as a commitment to pay living wages throughout the supply chain.

Nair is a non-executive director of BT and previously served as the non-executive director of the UK government’s business, energy and industrial strategy department.

Chanel fought for self-reliance and only recently disclosed financial information. In July, he predicted sales would grow double digits this year, from $ 12.3 billion before the 2019 pandemic.

According to Luca Solca, luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, Chanel follows a model of attracting senior executives from the consumer packaged products industry.

“For the relatively young luxury goods sector, Unilever and Procter & Gamble are management reservoirs,” he added, citing Antonio Belloni, CEO of LVMH and former chairman of Procter & Gamble in Europe, and Estee Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda, who is also a P&G veteran.

Emmanuel Lenain, the French Ambassador to India, also took the time to congratulate Nair on his busy schedule.

Rupa Dash, CEO of the World Woman Fund, thanked Nair and called Chanel’s selection “an incredible date”.

Edited and proofread by Ashlyn Joy


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Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds