Unilever in hunt to fill top corporate PR post

Unilever is scouring the market for a candidate to fill the shoes of its top-ranking PR chief Mike Nash.

Unilever is scouring the market for a candidate to fill the shoes

of its top-ranking PR chief Mike Nash.



Nash, who joined the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate as a trainee in 1961, is

planning to retire early next month to live in Australia.



Unilever is offering a salary of at least #150,000 in a bid to attract a

suitable replacement.



Headhunters have already approached several senior agency personnel plus

British Airways’ outgoing director of public affairs Peter Jones.



However discussions with Jones, who is leaving BA next month, ended when

Unilever decided it didn’t want a British citizen in the role.



Nash’s job as Unilever’s London-based head of corporate relations and

head of a 30-strong team is one of the most powerful in the PR

industry.



Aside from the detergent company Lever Brothers, Unilever also owns

Birds Eye Walls, John West, Van den Burgh Foods, Calvin Klein and

Unipath.



As head of corporate relations Nash is responsible for Unilever’s

overall corporate reputation rather than product-led work which is

handled by individual PR teams.



He divides his time between the UK and the Netherlands, reporting to

Unilever’s two chairman, Niall FitzGerald in London and Morris

Tabaksblat in Rotterdam.



Nash’s department, which handles media relations, corporate

communications and government affairs, is also split equally between the

two countries.



Nash also oversees relations with agencies and wields a PR budget of

several million pounds.



During his time at Unilever he has held marketing positions in

Australia, Nigeria, Argentina, Brazil and the Netherlands, although he

did leave the company while in Australia, returning a few years later.

He was appointed head of corporate relations in 1994. ’He sees himself

as a Unilever man, rather than a straight PR man,’ said one insider. ’He

likes to keep out of the limelight.’



Nash declined to comment.



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