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Kraft Heinz and Unilever: Who are the chief executives?

Clare Hutchison
Mega deal: Ketchup maker Kraft Heinz has made a takeover approach to Unilever: Scott Olson/Getty Images

As Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever and US giant Kraft enter merger talks, the Standard looks at the men leading the two firms.

Paul Polman, Unilever chief executive

At Davos this year Unilever boss Paul Polman reeled off an old African proverb: if you want to go fast you go alone, if you want to go far you go together. But 60-year-old Polman has gone quite far by himself.

The Dutchman was seen as a contender for the top job at his previous employers Nestle and Proctor & Gamble, before becoming the first outsider appointed Unilever chief in 2008.

The married father of three and keen marathon runner, who has sought to capitalise on the emerging middle classes in developing countries, lists his three major concerns for the future as food security, climate change and poverty alleviation.

Bernardo Hees, Kraft Heinz chief executive

Hees was a railway executive in his native Brazil before finding his way to food, first as chief executive of Burger King and then as Heinz boss.

When he arrived at the ketchup and baked bean maker prior to its merger with Kraft, the 43-year-old closed factories and consolidated offices, cutting thousands of jobs in an attempt to boost profits.

He gained some notoriety in the UK after comments he reportedly made about his time studying for an MBA at the University of Warwick. He suggested British women were unattractive and deemed our food terrible.