Paul Polman: ‘I could boost Unilever shares. But cutting costs is not our way’

Still in fight mode after the Kraft battle, Unilever’s boss wants to make the UK a place where aggressive short-termism can’t win

Three months after Kraft Heinz’s £115bn takeover bid was defeated in a weekend, Unilever chief Paul Polman is still throwing punches. He’s jabbing in defence of his company’s “inclusive capitalism” business model. He is championing the returns Unilever shareholders have enjoyed during his eight years at the head of the Dove soap-to-Lipton tea consumer goods giant. “Better than Warren’s,” he says, in a dig at Warren Buffett, one of Kraft’s big backers.

And he is trying harder than ever to provoke a wider debate about the perils of short-termism in business.

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