Editor - David Taylor

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Hiring Paul has been one of the best decisions taken by Unilever. There is a new energy at least if one goes by the amount of press coverage. Also they seem to be ahead in using social media and branded content compared to their peers. They were also not unafraid to dabble with crowdsourcing. Recent global media and digital pitches also indicate a focus on big thinking with a few partners. All in all, lots happening within the company most of it in the right direction.

What he is saying about looking beyond shareholder value in some ways similar sto what Sarkozy said about looking at GDP growth as an indicator of progress. Different scale and setting, public company vs country.


I think that Paul Polman's greatest achievement so far in UL has been to get the winning mindset back - the dual focus on growth AND reducing our environmental footprint is the kind of vision that makes you want to come to work in the morning! And getting the short termists off our back gives us the space to deliver.


I agree David and shareholder value must surely be a major reason that so many large companies hit the skids. If Lehman hadn’t chased an $80+ share price, their whole strategy would’ve been very different.

It’s also the reason that so many British companies have been snapped up by foreign firms (Cadbury the obvious example). At the risk of being xenophobic, I’d prefer to see a more Germanic stock market that limits such exposure.

Common sense tells us mid- to long-term must overrule the next quarter’s results. I applaud Mr Poleman but fear it’s a change in mindset as unlikely in UK plcs as it is in the premiership.

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