People to Watch in International Business

ROBERT POLET Trading Up Luxury-goods maker Gucci shocked the fashion world when it picked Polet, 48, as its new CEO, since the Dutchman had spent his career at Unilever, a purveyor of low-brow brands such as Lever 2000 soap and Birds Eye peas. Polet has big, fancy shoes to fill at Gucci. Outgoing CEO Domenico De Sole is credited, along with designer Tom Ford, with reviving the empire. But Polet is a brand builder too. In his last post as president of Unilever's $7.8 billion frozen-foods division, he raised profit margins 70% in a little more than three years.


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