Paul Polman

Co-founder & Chair of IMAGINE, Former CEO, Unilever

Paul Polman

Co-founder & Chair of IMAGINE, Former CEO, Unilever

Biography

Paul Polman is Co-founder & Chair of IMAGINE, an activist corporation and foundation that promotes implementation of the global goals through transformational leadership.

Polman is also Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, The B Team, Saïd Business School and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact.

A leading proponent that business can – and should – be a force for good, he has been described by the Financial Times as “a standout CEO of the past decade”, whose role in helping to redefine the relationship between business and society has been “path-breaking”.

As CEO of Unilever (2009-2018), he demonstrated that a long-term, multi-stakeholder model goes hand-in-hand with excellent financial performance. In fact, during his tenure, Unilever was one of the best- performing companies in its sector; for ten years it constantly achieved top and bottom line growth.

Additionally, Polman was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel that developed the Sustainable Development Goals, and as an active SDG Advocate he continues to work with global organisations and across industry sectors to make the case for the 2030 development agenda.

Polman is also a great Philanthropist donating money to a variety of important causes and even founding a charity the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, which supports visually impaired children across Africa by unlocking literacy for life.