Dekkers has decided to step down from the role with immediate effect, with former non-executive director Andersen assuming the role.
Andersen has served on the Unilever board since April 2015 and was a member of the firm’s Audit Committee.
He will now step down from the Audit Committee and be appointed as chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and as a member of the Compensation Committee.
Andersen has significant business experience and was previously group chief executive officer of logistics firm A P Moller – Maersk from 2007 to 2016 and president and chief executive officer of Carlsberg and Carlsberg Breweries from 2001 to 2007.
He has served as chairman at multinational AkzoNobel since April 2018. He is also currently a non-executive director at BP and chairman of the privately-held Salling Group, although he will now step down from these roles prior to the Unilever AGM in March 2020.
Dekker was appointed as chairman of Unilever in April 2016 and has chosen to stand down to focus on his growing responsibilities as founder and chairman of investment firm Novalis LifeSciences.
He will continue to serve as a non-executive director of Unilever.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Marijn for his strong leadership and the contribution he has made as chairman,” Andersen said.
“I am very proud to have been asked to succeed [him] and I look forward to working with the board and the Unilever leadership team to support the company’s continued growth.”
Meanwhile, the firm recently announced that it will halve its use of virgin plastics by 2025, cutting that usage by 100,000 tonnes.