Unilever has confirmed Paul Polman will officially take up the role of chief executive officer on 1 January. Outgoing CEO Patrick Cescau retires from Unilever on 31 December.

Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, has appointed Louise Codling as operations manager for the south of England. Codling has worked in training for more than 20 years.

Lancashire-based regional brewer Thwaites has appointed former Punch Taverns operations director for Scotland Sue Allen to the newly-created post of commercial director. She will also be responsible for all marketing activities.

Jane Rexworthy has been appointed head of Skillsmart Retail’s National Skills Academy for Retail, which will be launched in April next year. The academy will offer training and business support to retailers, their employees and people looking for a career in retail through a nationwide network of retail ‘skill shops’.

Coca-Cola bottler the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company has appointed Nik Jhangiani to the new position of strategy and business development director. He will be responsible for identifying growth and value-enhancing opportunities across the group’s product portfolio.

The Confederation of the Food & Drink Industries of the EU has appointed Tim Mobsby, area president of Kellogg’s Europe, as the new president of its Liaison Committee for large food and drink companies. He replaces Luis Cantarell, zone director for the US, Canada, Latin America and Caribbean at Nestlé, who has led the committee for more than two years.

The Coca-Cola Company has confirmed chairman Neville Isdell will not stand for re-election at the company’s annual meeting in April next year. He will be succeeded by president and chief executive officer Muhtar Kent.

Tesco has appointed Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker as a non-executive director. She was a director general at the Ministry of Transport in The Netherlands from 2001 to 2007 and was most recently responsible for civil aviation and freight.