She replaces Chanel co-owner and chairman Alain Wertheimer, who occupied the CEO role after Maureen Chiquet's departure in 2016. Wertheimer will now become global executive chair of Chanel, said the company.
Nair is a consumer goods veteran, with a career at Unilever spanning 30 years, most recently as the chief of human resources and a member of Unilever’s executive committee. Nair was the first female, first Asian, youngest ever CHRO of Unilever, according to Reuters.
The 52-year old Indian national, described as a "fashion outsider", takes on the task of leading one of the world's biggest luxury goods groups.