Paul Polman, Unilever xCEO on being “Net Positive”


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“Business cannot sit on the sidelines — we're not moving at the scale and speed needed, we as industry leaders have an enormous responsibility to drive these tipping points.”

Paul Polman, one of our most prominent and vocal P&G Alumni, who also happens to be the former CEO of Unilever. In this talk from 2021 P&G Alumni Global Conference Paul talks about "Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take" - a recent book he co-authored, the Financial Times named among the Best Business Books of 2021. The Financial Times declared Paul "a standout CEO of the past decade” - as he is a leading proponent that business should be a force for good. And the Economist declared Paul "An advocate of sustainable capitalism explains how it's done."

Paul Polman is the co-founder of IMAGINE, where he is mobilizing businesses to tackle climate change and global inequality. Paul also served as the CEO of Unilever from 2009-2018, where he created - and proved- a long-term approach to global problems can also drive business performance. Prior to Unilever, he was Nestle’s CFO & Head of Americas. And of course, Paul got his start at P&G, where he spent 27 years rising through the ranks ultimately leading Europe for P&G. Paul continues to be active on the world stage, bridging the private/public sectors. Alongside the UN Secretary General, he helped develop the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Paul is chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, The B Team, Saïd Business School and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact. You'll enjoy this very frank, compelling, and action oriented talk about what we can all be doing as business and community leaders — to face the challenges we have in front of us, and be a force for good.

  • Paul’s past P&G Alumni Podcast appearance:
  • BOOK: Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take -

155 episodes