Harish Manwani, global chief operating officer at Unilever, is preparing to retire at the end of the year.

A spokesperson for Unilever confirmed he will exit the group on 31 December after a career spanning 38 years at the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant.

Manwani joined Hindustan Unilever, the company's Indian arm, in 1976 and moved to corporate functions in the UK in 2000 when he took up the role of SVP global hair care and oral care. He then held positions of increasing responsibility until he was appointed COO in 2011.

The spokesperson said Manwani has made a "significant contribution" to the business and "leaves a strong legacy". He will continue to serve as a non-executive chairman at Hindustan Unilever.

A replacement is yet to be named.