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Richard Slater

Richard was appointed Chief Research & Development Officer in April 2019 and is part of the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE).

Richard Slater profile

Chief Research & Development Officer

My purpose: tackle together big challenges that matter

Richard Slater, Chief Research & Development Officer

In his role as Chief Research & Development Officer, Richard is accountable for the development of R&D as a key growth driver for Unilever. This includes oversight of strategy and innovation across the three Divisions and leadership of key cross-company capabilities; Safety & Environmental Assurance (SEAC), Regulatory Affairs, Digital, Packaging and Operations.

Richard joined Unilever from GSK, where he held the position of Head of R&D for GSK Consumer Healthcare, part of the Executive Leadership Team and leading a transformation of R&D and innovation.

Prior to that, Richard spent nine years at Reckitt in a variety of R&D leadership roles across Health, Hygiene and Home Care, including leading the successful integration of several major acquisitions.

Richard started his career at Boots Healthcare International. He worked across various R&D and Supply technical, project management and leadership roles for global consumer brands.

Richard has a BSc (hons) in Microbiology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK). He is married with three sons and is based in the UK.


  • 2022: Appointed Non-Executive Director at SARAL
  • 2019: Joined Unilever as Chief Research & Development Officer
  • 2014: Head of R&D, Consumer Healthcare, GSK
  • 2012: Head of R&D, Consumer Healthcare, Reckitt Benckiser (RB)
  • 2010: Global Group Director / VP R&D Personal Care, RB
  • 2008: Global Director R&D, Aircare, RB
  • 2006: Global Director R&D, Analgesics & New Brands, RB
  • 1999: various roles, Consumer Healthcare, Boots Healthcare International
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