Unilever has announced the retirement of Ritva Sotamaa, chief legal officer and group secretary, at the end of March 2022.
Ritva joined Unilever in 2013, and in 2018 was appointed group secretary, in addition to her chief legal officer role. She will be succeeded by Maria Varsellona, general counsel and company secretary for global technology company ABB Ltd.
Prior to joining ABB in November 2019, Varsellona was chief legal officer of Nokia, as well as president of Nokia Technologie. Before joining Nokia, she held senior legal positions in Tetra Laval Group, Switzerland; GE in Italy; and Hertz Europe.
In addition, Marc Engel, chief supply chain officer, has decided to leave Unilever in April 2022. Engel’s career at Unilever spans 30 years, and he has been a member of the ULE for the past six years. He will be succeeded by Reginaldo Ecclissato, currently executive vice president Mexico, Central America and Greater Caribbean.
Ecclissato has over 30 years of experience with Unilever, working across both developed and emerging markets. Prior to his most recent role, he was executive vice president of Unilever’s Americas Supply Chain. Ecclissato will assume the role from January 1, 2022 and will join the ULE at the same time.
Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, commented, "On behalf of everyone at Unilever, I would like to thank Ritva and Marc for their tremendous contribution over the course of their careers with us. Ritva has built a first-class legal function at Unilever, brought great leadership to our business integrity agenda, and was instrumental in the successful unification of our dual-headed legal structure. I am very thankful for her wisdom, advice and support over many years, and wish her the very best for the future.
“Marc’s leadership of our supply chain has been critical to Unilever becoming a faster, more resilient and more sustainable business. I am very grateful for Marc’s contributions over his long career with Unilever, and in particular for his stewardship of our supply chain through the many challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years. At the same time, I am delighted to welcome Maria to Unilever and look forward to working closely with her. Maria’s deep experience and strong track record of delivery make her ideally placed to support the next stage of Unilever’s journey.”
Jope concluded, “I am also very pleased that, in Reginaldo, we have an internal successor with extensive supply chain experience, who has overseen significant business growth and brought impressive leadership to the Mexico, Central America and Greater Caribbean region.”