“Every year, I’d bring nine of our most promising executives to Florida – just me and them, not their bosses. One year, we were on a catamaran on Naples Bay and Hein started turning green,” ex-Heinz chief Bill Johnson told Reuters in an interview. “The water was only four feet deep and 30 feet away from the shore and he was hung over the side of the boat.”
“But even though he knew he was going to be miserable he got on. He was willing to go anywhere and work any hours. Just the most adaptable person who has ever worked for me.”
Schumacher, 51, is likely to need all his determination – as well as the experience he gained in food at Heinz and in retailing at Dutch grocer Ahold – when he takes the helm at Unilever from Alan Jope in July.
The Dove soap to Hellmann’s mayonnaise giant needs to revive its underperforming food business, while also managing tricky price negotiations with retailers feeling the squeeze from inflationary pressures…