Unilever boss to receive CMI’s prestigious Gold Medal accolade

The annual title is presented to celebrate the achievements of a leader with a proven track record, excelling in the world of management

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has announced that Unilever boss, Paul Polman, is to be awarded with this year’s CMI Gold Medal Award for leadership.

The annual title is presented to celebrate the achievements of a leader with a proven track record, excelling in the world of management.

Polman, chief executive of Unilever since 2009, was selected for his courage and passion in advocating a long-term approach to business growth and building a strong sense of purpose for Unilever in a highly competitive market. Embodied in the company’s “Unilever Sustainable Living Plan”, the approach has seen the company commit to improving health and well-being, reducing environmental impact, and enhancing livelihoods – while making radical changes like abandoning guidance and quarterly profit reporting in order to reinforce a focus on the long term.

The award also recognises Polman’s dedication to putting people at the centre of his management approach and firm belief that developing and empowering staff is key to sustainable success. The Gold Medal accolade will be officially presented at the CMI President’s Dinner on 13 April 2015.

On receiving news of the award, Polman said: “Business needs to be at the heart of developing solutions to the long term issues people care about.  That is the way to build a successful and sustainable growth model.  We also need the right standards of leadership across business, with managers who are authentic, have high levels of integrity and are driven by a deep sense of purpose. I’m very grateful that CMI has chosen to recognise me in this fashion and it will be a privilege to receive the Gold Medal in April.”

Last year Polman was among the leaders who gave testimony to the Commission on the Future of Management and Leadership. Its Management 2020 report called for managers and leaders to focus on the people, purpose and potential of their business – which CMI’s chief executive, Ann Francke, says is exemplified by Polman’s approach.

“Paul’s leadership shows how management can be reinvented for the 21st century. Building a sense of social purpose, leading people and maximising the potential of the next generation are at the heart of good management, and it’s clear that Paul has led real change in these areas at the same time as delivering business growth. This award is well-deserved and we look forward to presenting the Gold Medal to Paul in April,” she said.


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