Vasiliki Petrou to Depart Unilever Prestige as CEO

Vasiliki Petrou to Depart Unilever Prestige as CEO

THE WHAT?  Vasiliki Petrou, the architect behind Unilever’s Prestige Division, is leaving her role as CEO after a decade of building the division into a €1.4 billion entity. She announced her departure on LinkedIn, citing her ambition to start her own investment fund.

THE DETAILS  Petrou was brought on by Unilever ten years ago to create the Prestige Division from scratch, beginning with the acquisition of Dermalogica in 2015 for approximately US$1 billion. Under her leadership, the division grew to include 11 brands, such as K-18 Biomimetic Hair Science.

Despite impressive growth, with a CAGR of 12% from 2019 to 2023 and 12 consecutive quarters of growth, the Prestige Division remains smaller compared to Unilever’s mass-market Personal Care and Beauty & Wellbeing divisions, which had sales of €14 billion and €12 billion respectively in 2023.

THE WHY?  Petrou’s departure coincides with CEO Hein Schumacher’s efforts to premiumize Unilever’s portfolio, focusing on billion-euro power brands and spinning off the ice cream business.

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