Men & Women

Meet Leena Nair, Chanel’s New Indian-Origin CEO Throughout The World

Leena Nair, Unilever’s first female CHRO and the company’s youngest-ever CHRO, has resigned to become CEO of Chanel, the French luxury fashion house.

Leena Nair, Unilever’s first female CHRO and the company’s youngest-ever CHRO, has resigned to become Global CEO of Chanel, a French luxury fashion house. For her new job, she’ll be in London. An announcement from Unilever said that “Leena Nair, CHRO, is stepping down from her current role in January of 2022 in order to explore a new career opportunity as Global CEO of Chanel Ltd.”

In 1992, Leena Nair joined Unilever as a management trainee and stayed with the firm for the next 30 years. From 1993 to 1996, she served as Lipton India’s Factory Personnel Manager; from 1996 to 1997, she served as HUL’s Employee Relations Manager; from 1997 to 2000, she served as HUL’s Management Development Planning Manager; and from 2003 to 2004, she served as HUL’s HR Manager of Home and Personal Care India.

From August 2006 to May 2007 she held the position of HPC and Foods General Manager as well as the Head of Management Development, and from June 2007 to December 2012 she served as Executive Director, HUL and Human Resources VP, South Asia. From January 2013 until February 16 of this year, she was Unilever’s SVP of Leadership and Organization Development and Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Unilever’s CHRO was appointed in March 2016 and will step down in January 2022 to become the CEO of Chanel, the world’s largest luxury goods company.


In 2014, while serving as Unilever’s CHRO, she implemented many projects aimed at improving the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the company’s workers. Nair is a firm believer in the importance of a company’s employees’ health and happiness.

When the coronavirus epidemic was at its worst, Unilever granted its staff a day off as a token of gratitude under the 2020 Global Day of Thanks. For many of us at Unilever, it will be a day without team calls, emails, or work. In a LinkedIn post, she said that those who can’t take today off because they keep things running would get one extra day off before the end of 2020.

The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health was also established in January 2021 as a result of this initiative as well. Unilever, Salesforce, HSBC, Deloitte, Clifford Chance, and BHP are the founding members of the programme. Unilever collaborated with a number of organizations to create a platform for addressing mental health concerns in the workplace, raise awareness about the importance of mental health in the workplace, and facilitate the adoption of best practise through collaboration and the creation of a roadmap to change the current situation.

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I Varsha Chhirolya having an experience in digital marketing of 5 years, I am an account manager in CREATIVE Ad Agency.

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