Gail Klintworth

Chief Sustainability Officer


Gail studied at Rhodes University and the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and has over 25 years experience with varied challenges in human resources, sales and marketing, across Unilever’s Foods, Home Care and Personal Care businesses.

Gail was the CEO of Unilever South Africa from 2007 to 2010. During this period she united all of the Unilever business units into one company and further entrenched its position as one of the most competitive fast moving consumer goods companies in South Africa.

In her international career for Unilever, she has contributed as Global Brands VP for two Laundry brands, working with consumers and in the markets in over 30 countries, and as Executive Vice President for the Savoury Category, responsible for Unilever’s biggest global brand, Knorr, a €5 billion brand sold in over 100 countries.

As of 1 March 2012, Gail takes on the role of Chief Sustainability Officer for Unilever Globally. She is responsible for driving the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan which aims to double the business turnover whilst halving the environmental impacts across the value chain, by 2020, and to impact positively the lives of our consumers and sustainable growth through our brands and our value chain. The Plan has three key pillars focused on: helping more than 1 billion people globally to improving their health and well-being (focus on hygiene, water and nutrition); halving the environmental footprint across the full range of Unilever’s influence; and contributing to improved livelihoods through building small entrepreneurs and small-growers that support our business.

External to Unilever, Gail has served as a director on a number of bodies which have sought to build the conditions for sustainable growth through PPPs: Business Leadership South Africa, the Business Trust in South Africa, the establishment of the FoodBank SA. She is also a board member of the Leadership Foundation of the International Women’s Foundation, an NPO which seeks to promote women’s leadership globally.

Gail is committed to building sustainable businesses and making a significant contribution to positive socio-economic development through business.