Jan Zijderveld joined Unilever in 1987, moving through a variety of roles in Australasia, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Jan was born in the Netherlands and educated in New Zealand, graduating from the University of Waikato with a general management degree in 1987 before joining Unilever as a brand manager.
Since then his career with the business has been truly global. From New Zealand, he moved to Sydney, Australia. Then from 1992, Jan spent five years in marketing roles at Unilever Netherlands in Rotterdam.
In 1997, the role of marketing director combined with the director’s role for the European Olive Oil category brought Jan to Milan, Italy. His next move was to Stockholm in 2000 as Chairman of Unilever’s Nordic ice cream business; then in 2004 he relocated to Dubai as Chairman of Unilever’s businesses in Arabia and Iran. In 2007, Jan became Chairman of Unilever’s Middle East and North Africa-based businesses, representing 20 countries.
In 2008, Jan moved to Singapore, as Executive Vice President of Unilever South East Asia and Australasia. In 2011, he was appointed to his current role: President, Europe.
Jan is fluent in Dutch, English and Italian, and is married with two children.