Unilever chief caught up in tax row
THE boss behind Unilever’s plot to ditch Britain is a tax resident in Switzerland.
Chief executive Paul Polman, who spearheaded a failed attempt to axe the Marmite maker’s UK headquarters and base it solely in the Netherlands, has lived in Switzerland for 20 years and the country is his tax base. Unilever revealed the 62-year-old’s status in a statement last night. It insisted that he pays taxes on his income from the company in Holland and the UK.
However, Unilever refused to say exactly how much tax he paid on his huge earnings and where.
Polman was paid £10.2m last year alone, taking his earnings since he started the Unilever job in 2009 to £62.7m.
There is no suggestion that Polman has broken any laws. But Alex Cobham, of the Tax Justice Network, said: ‘I would hope that he and the company are living by their words about social responsibility. The way to show that would be by being transparent.’ A Unilever spokesman said: ‘Polman is tax resident in Switzerland, where he has lived for nearly 20 years, and therefore pays a portion of his taxes in Switzerland. Having joined Unilever as chief executive in 2009, he also pays taxes in the UK and the Netherlands with respect to his board roles and employment with Unilever.’