Sue Garrard will join the FMCG company as senior vice president of global comms on 1 January 2011, and will be based in London.
Garrard will report to chief marketing & comms officer Keith Weed, and will be responsible for all of Unilever's internal and external corporate comms.
The team globally comprises around 200 staff, principally in media relations, internal comms and external affairs.
Weed said: ‘Sue is an accomplished communications professional with a wealth of knowledge and expertise across the private and public sector. She is the perfect candidate to build our communications function into a best-in-class, strategic asset for the business.’
Garrard is currently the DWP’s director-general, marketing comms and customer strategy, and has previously held board director roles at Fishburn Hedges and Abbot Mead Vickers.
She will replace Tim Johns who left the company in May, one month after the appointment of Weed.
This follows news that Weed is introducing three other roles to its global marketing team: Helena Ganczakowski as global vice-president for agency relations; Jorgen Bartsch as global vice-president for marketing services; and Paula Quazi as global vice-president for futures communications.