Rachel Stanford

Global Innovation Director


Rachel is currently the Global Innovation Transformation Director at Unilever. She is responsible for embedding Lean Like a Start Up principles across all brands, functions and geographies. In the last 12 months she has curated the lean like a start-up programme that has seen over 1000 internal founders complete bootcamps, building new brand launches, innovations and business processes across over 180 projects. Her career to date includes time spent in the nuclear power industry with BNFL, ahead of a sponsored Ph.D placement with ICI for which is gained a doctorate in Chemistry. In 1998 she then joined Unilever on the graduate trainee scheme. At Unilever she has been a part of the global marketing teams responsible for innovation strategy and product philosophy for lowering cholesterol, creating “good clothes days” and encouraging people to do more by stopping them sweating!! Rachel has built expertise in both breakthrough and core innovation leadership, design thinking as well as award-winning mix development. Rachel has built deep expertise in innovation development across R&D, Marketing, Local and Global posts bringing her full circle to transforming the way Unilever innovates utilising Lean principles.