- Consumer goods group Unilever said chairman Marijn Dekkers had stood down, with immediate effect.

He had been replaced by current non-executive director Nils Andersen.

Dekkers, appointed chairman in April 2016, had chosen to stand down to focus on his growing responsibilities as founder and chairman of investment firm Novalis LifeSciences, the company said.

He would continue to serve as a non-executive director of Unilever.

'It has been a huge honour to serve as chairman of Unilever and I am very proud of the work we continue to do as a truly purpose-driven company,' Dekkers said.

'My decision to step down has been a difficult one to make but I look forward to seeing Unilever go from strength to strength under Nils as chairman.'

Andersen had served on the Unilever board since April 2015 and was previously chief executive shipping group A.P. Moller - Maersk and also of beer maker Carlsberg.

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