Vice President R&D Packaging. Responsible for strategic leadership of Packaging function, technology/capability programme, internal/ external business partner interface and custodian of Unilever Packaging community.
Paul Howells has spent his entire career at Unilever. He started as an Engineering Apprentice before becoming a specialist Packaging Machinery Engineer. He then joined Unilever’s European Packaging Group and was subsequently promoted to Senior Project Manager within the Overseas Packaging Group in 1996.
During this period, Paul led a wide range of packaging projects in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. These projects included the introduction of new packaging innovations as well the design and build of manufacturing facilities in Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
In 1997 Paul was appointed as the Strategic Operations Director to Unilever’s Supply Chain SVP. In this role, Paul led a number of SC restructuring projects and supported the creation and implementation of Unilever’s global SC strategy for the Home and Personal Care business.
Paul was then appointed to run the Deodorants Aerosols factory in the Leeds UK. The factory is one of Unilever’s largest Personal Care factories producing in excess of 500 million units per year with a workforce of more than 500. This role was followed by a promotion to Works Director with responsibility for all Deodorant manufacturing operations in the UK. During his period, the Leeds factory achieved UK Best Factory Award. The site also become one of the top performing sites within Unilever Europe and consistently achieved the highest scores for customer service excellence.
In 2005, Paul moved back to R&D to lead a global process improvement programme on innovation delivery. This was followed by the appointment to Deodorants Packaging Director. In this role, Paul was responsible for the design and development of the global packaging innovation programme for the Deodorants Category. The scope included major global packaging innovations for Dove, Rexona/Sure, and Axe/Lynx brands.
Paul led the Deodorants Packaging Group for 6 years. In addition to delivering the Category innovation programme he built the advanced capabilities that have been instrumental in ensuring Unilever’s Deodorants packaging innovations consistently achieve market leadership.
In May 2013, Paul was appointed as VP for Packaging. He provides the functional leadership for Unilever’s packaging operations across 11 Categories. He is also accountable for leading Unilever’s central support capabilities in materials technology, customer packaging, sustainability, packaging excellence and design.