Graeme Pitkethly is to succeed Jean-Marc Huët as chief financial officer of Unilever later this year.

Huët, who joined Unilever in January 2010, had decided to step down from the role, Unilever said, and would leave on 1 October.

Pitkethly joined Unilever in 2002 and is currently executive vice president of Unilever UK and Ireland. He replaced Amanda Sourry in the role last summer when she was promoted to head the fmcg giant’s global hair category.

“I have had an excellent and very rewarding period of time at Unilever and fully achieved what I set out to do when I joined the organisation in 2010,” Huët said.

“I am delighted with the progress Unilever has made over the past five and a half years and particularly the work we have done to strengthen the overall finance function. I am now looking forward to ensuring a seamless transition to my successor, Graeme Pitkethly, and then spending some time deciding what new opportunities to pursue.”

Unilever CEO Paul Polman added: “I would like to thank Jean-Marc for the contributions he has made over the past five and a half years. As a member of the Unilever leadership executive and Unilever’s board of directors he has played an important role in helping to steer Unilever through one of its most successful periods.

“Importantly, he has helped to build and strengthen Unilever’s standing with the financial community and has spent considerable time in developing a strong internal talent pipeline, which is today reflected in the appointment of Graeme Pitkethly. He leaves Unilever with the group in sound financial health and with the finance function significantly revitalised. We all wish him every success in the future.”

On Pitkethly’s appointment, Polman added: “His broad financial experience, deep operating knowledge and track-record in both business and people development make him an ideal addition to help Unilever through the next stages of its transformation to a sustainable competitive and profitable company in its industry.”