HomeMain SliderChanel CEO Leena Nair On Time’s ‘Women Of The Year’ List

Chanel CEO Leena Nair On Time’s ‘Women Of The Year’ List


Chanel CEO Leena Nair On Time’s ‘Women Of The Year’ List

India-West News Desk

NEW YORK, NY – TIME has named Chanel CEO Leena Nair to its list of ‘Women of the Year.’ The list recognizes 12 women who are “extraordinary leaders working toward a more equal world.”

The 2024 Women of the Year issue features a worldwide cover highlighting actor, writer and director Greta Gerwig, accompanied by an in-depth interview.

On Nair, the magazine wrote, “For all the talk of promoting and valuing women in businesses, there’s been depressingly little progress in boardrooms and C-suites in the past few years. One notable exception is Leena Nair, who became global CEO of Chanel in January 2022. An outsider to the fashion world, Nair is hoping to pioneer a different kind of leadership—one that celebrates compassion, empathy, and kindness.”

Nair, who grew up in rural India, now lives in London. “I have always believed in the collective voice, in diverse perspectives; if I sit in a meeting, I want to listen to every voice around the table, not just the dominant ones,” she told the magazine.

“Nair, 54, has proved throughout her career that she can succeed while still doing good for employees—and the world,” Time wrote detailing her achievements.

She spent 30 years at consumer packaged-goods giant Unilever, nearly six of them as the head of human resources, where she increased the share of female managers from 38% to 50% and helped the company become known for its socially conscious initiatives.

More than 60% of management positions at Chanel are held by women.

She increased the amount of funding for Foundations Chanel, the company’s charitable arm, to $100 million from $20 million when she took the CEO role. It’s now one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world working for the empowerment of women and girls, the magazine pointed out.  

Though few of Nair’s female relatives had pursued careers or higher education, she was determined to go to university to study technology and engineering. And she’s grown used to breaking barriers: in the 1990s, as a young executive, she was the only woman working at a Unilever factory in Chennai, India—such a rarity that buses would stop at the gate of the estate so that workers could see her. 

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