LONDON — Nils Anderson has been elevated to chairman of Unilever. He succeeds Marijn Dekkers, who has decided to step down so he can focus on his growing responsibilities as founder and chairman of Novalis LifeSciences, an investment and advisory firm. Mr. Dekkers will continue as a non-executive director of Unilever.

“It has been a huge honor to serve as chairman of Unilever, and I am very proud of the work we continue to do as a truly purpose-driven company,” Mr. Dekkers said. “My decision to step down has been a difficult one to make, but I look forward to seeing Unilever go from strength to strength under Nils as chairman.”

Mr. Anderson, currently non-executive director, has been a member of Unilever’s board since April 2015 and is currently a member of the board’s audit committee. He will step down from the audit committee and be appointed chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee and a member of the compensation committee. He has served as chairman of AkzoNobel N.V. since April 2018 and is a non-executive director at BP P.L.C. He also is chairman of privately held Salling Group A/S. He intends to step down from his roles at BP and Salling Group in March 2020, prior to the Unilever annual general meeting.

In addition to his position on various boards, Mr. Anderson was group chief executive officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S from 2007 to 2016 and president and c.e.o. of Carlsberg A/S and Carlsberg Breweries A/S from 2001 to 2007.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Marijn for his strong leadership and the contribution he has made as chairman,” Mr. Anderson said. “I am very proud to have been asked to succeed Marijn, and I look forward to working with the board and the Unilever leadership team to support the company’s continued growth.”