Dave Lewis, President, Personal Care, Unilever
Lecture Title: A Billion Better Lives!
Date: Tuesday 23 April 2013
Dave Lewis has had a long career at Unilever, starting in 1987 and moving through different roles in home and personal care in Europe, South America and Asia.
Dave joined Unilever in 1987, starting as a UCMDS trainee for Lever Brothers, based in Kingston, UK. During his first nine years, he held a variety of marketing (local / European) and customer management roles. He became the Marketing Operations manager in 1993.
In 1996, he moved to South America, to be Marketing Director of River Plate (Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). Heavily involved in the defence of the southern cone laundry business, he also led the regional innovation for household care.
His next move was to Indonesia in 1999, where he was Managing Director of Unilever Indonesia's personal care business and regional innovation leader for personal care South East Asia. Political unrest and hyperinflation made business conditions particularly challenging, but the business continued to innovate under his leadership and saw an average growth of 30% per year.
Dave took the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard University and then served as Senior Vice President for Home and Personal Care, Central and Eastern Europe for three years. He then returned to the UK and his Kingston roots in 2005 as Managing Director of the UK home and personal care business. In 2007 he became Chairman of Unilever UK and Ireland, as the company consolidated its three separate operating companies – foods, home and personal care and ice cream - into a single business as part of its One Unilever programme. He was appointed President of the Americas in 2010.
In 2011, he took up his present role.