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Unilever has appointed James A Lawrence as chief financial officer in succession to Rudy Markham. Lawrence, currently vice chairman and CFO of General Mills, will join Unilever on Sept. 1, 2007. Lawrence will assume his duties as CFO immediately upon joining and will be proposed for election to the boards of Unilever NV and PLC no later than the AGMs in May 2008.
Lawrence holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Yale University, has been chief financial officer of General Mills Inc. since 1998. In 2006 he was additionally appointed vice chairman. Prior to working for General Mills, Lawrence worked at Northwest Airlines as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Lawrence was also a former president, Pepsi-Cola, Asia Middle East and Africa. Earlier in his career he was with Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company. In 1983 he co-founded LEK Consulting, a business strategy consultancy. Mr Lawrence currently holds a number of other directorships including at British Airways plc, Avnet Inc. and Physicians Formula Holdings Inc.