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Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive of Unilever
Patrick Cescau was born in Paris in 1948. He was appointed Group Chief Executive of the combined Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V. business in April 2005 and is the first person to hold this new position in the company's history.
Patrick began his career in 1973 when he joined Unilever France as an organization officer. Since then his career has taken him to many countries across the world. He has held senior positions with Unilever in Germany, The Netherlands, Indonesia, Portugal, and in the US.
In 1998 he was appointed controller and deputy financial director. In May 1999 was appointed financial director of Unilever, a position he held until August 2000 when he relinquished that role to lead the integration of Bestfoods. On January 1, 2001 he took up the position as director of the company's global Foods division. In October 2004 Patrick was appointed Chairman of Unilever PLC and Deputy Chairman of Unilever N.V. Patrick stepped down from these roles when, in April 2005, Unilever changed its management structure to one with a single non-executive chairman and a single chief executive.
Patrick and his German-born wife, Ursula, live in London and have two children. His main interests include reading, golf and photography. Patrick was educated at ESSEC, graduating with a business degree, and later an MBA with distinction from INSEAD. Patrick is a non-executive director of Pearson PLC and a Conseiller du Commerce Exterieur de la France in Holland. He was awarded the Légion d'Honneur in January 2005.