Unilever has appointed a new UK & Ireland chairman to replace Amanda Sourry and announced a number of senior management changes.

Sourry, who has been in the role for four years, is moving to a new London-based job as executive vice president of Unilever’s global hair category. Before being appointed UK chairman, Sourry spent 17 years based in North America - latterly as head of Unilever’s global spreads & dressings category.

She will be replaced in July by Graeme Pitkethly, who has worked at Unilever for 12 years, most recently as senior vice president finance - global markets.

Pitkethly will report to Jan Zijderveld, Unilever’s president for Europe.

James Simmons, currently vice president of customer development UK, has been appointed MD of Unilever Greater Caribbean. Simmons joined Unilever in 1998 and has worked in roles including sales director for the home and personal care division and customer director for Tesco. Jill Ross, currently MD and vice president of customer development for Unilever in Ireland, will replace Simmons.

“Unilever has performed very strongly in the UK & Ireland under Amanda’s leadership during a sea change in the grocery industry,” said Pitkethly. “We say thanks, and wish both Amanda and James every success in their new roles. It’s a hugely exciting time for me to take the helm and I look forward to working with our outstanding Unilever UK & Ireland team to drive sustainable, brand-led growth in the marketplace through strong customer partnerships.”

In April, Unilever reported a 6.3% drop in turnover to €11.4bn for the first quarter of 2014, impacted by currency exchanges. Underlying sales rose 3.6% with emerging markets up 6.6%. It also said UK sales grew ahead of other markets in Europe.