Meet Leena Nair: The New CEO Of Chanel

A Bit About Leena’s Background

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Leena Nair has stepped in to become the CEO of Chanel, and for many, she was the most unlikely, unsuspecting contender for the role. With decades of monumental success in the world of fashion, Chanel’s reputation has always oozed class and prestige. The iconic fashions created by Chanel will live forever as timepieces that commemorate Chanel’s flair for design and powerful dominance in the ever-changing, dramatically demanding landscape of fashion.

During her tenure at Unilever, Nair was also the ‘chief of human resources and a member of the company’s executive committee, overseeing 150,000+ employees.

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Leena Was An Unlikely Candidate

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Many heads turned when Leena was announced as the company’s CEO, primarily due to the fact that Leena isn’t bringing any fashion experience to the table at all.

Leena previously held a very different position. She is the former Chief Human Resources Officer of Unilever and is currently 52 years old. She has accrued an impressive 30 years of extensive experience at Unilever and climbed her way to the top. She started with the company as a management trainee in 1992 and went on to become one of the most powerful people behind the brand’s success.

Nair has been named as one of Fortune India’s Most Powerful Women in 2021 and is an XLRI Jamshedpur alumni. She takes a people-focused approach to her leadership role, and that has proven to be wildly successful.

Nair is already being looked up to by the Indian community and is being hailed as a true trailblazer for those with Indian heritage, as well as for women, everywhere. She has proven that hard work and sheer determination truly can pay off and that there is no limit to success for women of any age or ethnicity who are willing to work towards their goals.

Shattering Records And Making History

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Leena Nair isn’t just making waves in the fashion industry with her pivotal new role. She also happens to be shattering records and making history in the process. Her LinkedIn account credits her as being the first female, first Asian, youngest ever CHRO of Unilever, and now, she is being hailed for clinching her impressive new position.

She recently publicly declared, “I am elated. This is the first time an Indian is heading a global luxury brand, that too an Indian woman, and it’s the first time a fashion industry outsider has been picked.”

Nair has recently accepted the Great British Businesswoman Role Model of the Year award.

Making history before she even puts in her first day of work, it’s clear that Leena Nair is poised to see huge success with Chanel.

A Transformative Brand

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The French luxury house Chanel now has a brand new global CEO, and that the fact that the lady filling these shoes is far removed from the fashion industry is said to be one of the biggest assets that she is bringing to the fashion giant.

This is being seen as a unique opportunity for the brand to consciously put effort into hearing an outsider’s perspective and to be led by someone that can drive the long-term success of the company in a fresh direction.

Chanel didn’t take this change lightly. In fact, there was a lot of screening, research, and scrutiny that went into filling the CEO position. Chanel went more than five years without having an appointed global CEO in place, and Nair will be taking over the position that was previously left open by Maureen Chiquet. When Maureen left her 9-year position with the brand, co-owner Alain Wertheimer took on the honorary position.

Without a background in fashion, Leena Nair will rely on her ability to be a powerful, influential leader and will tap into the people-focused approach that has led to her current level of success. She will single-handedly lead one of the most predominant, highly esteemed fashion label brands in the world. Relying on her extensive human resources experience and tapping into her history of ensuring workplace attitudes and consumer relations remain the focus towards successful corporate growth, Nair is ready to tackle her new position.

She took reign as the global CEO of Chanel in January of 2022.

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Sources: Vogue, CTV News, The Guardian








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