Newell Rubbermaid Adds Unilever Exec to Board

Newell Rubbermaid announces that Michael B. Polk has been elected to the company's board of directors, raising the total number of directors to 12. Polk is president of Unilever Americas with responsibility for $18 billion in combined North America and Latin America sales.

Since joining Unilever in 2005, Polk has streamlined the company's Americas organization and optimized the diverse mix of food, hygiene and personal care items in Unilever's product portfolio. He is credited with accelerating growth and profitability by improving efficiencies and encouraging the flow of ideas and product innovations across borders. Under Polk's leadership, Unilever was named Wal-Mart's Supplier of the Year in 2008.

Before Unilever, Polk held positions of increasing global responsibility during 18 years at Altria Group, culminating in the role of group vice president and president, Nabisco Biscuit & Snacks with a $5.5 billion portfolio of brands. He was responsible for the integration of Nabisco into Kraft Foods, which required merging Nabisco's in-store merchandising system, leveraging Kraft's branding power and restructuring manufacturing operations. While at Altria he also led Kraft's Asia/Pacific Region and Kraft's U.S. Post Cereal Division.

Polk began his career at Procter & Gamble in industrial engineering and product development. He is a board member of the Retail Industry Leadership Association, and has been named to Business Week magazine's "CEOs of Tomorrow" list and the "Power 50" list in Supermarket News.