Celeste Mdletshe appointed as Unilever’s head of HR – Southern Africa


Celeste moves on from Illovo Sugar, where she was the HR director for the past eight years.

Celeste Mdletshe has taken up the position of head of HR – Southern Africa at Unilever as of June 2024.

Celeste has more than 16 years of experience from various organisations including her recent role at Illovo Sugar-SA as HR director, a position she held from 2017. .

Her experience furthermore spans both generalist and specialist roles within companies such as Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, South African Breweries, and De Beers Mining. Additionally, she has served as a member of the remco and risk board committees.

Taking to her LinkedIn social media account, Celeste expressed gratitude for her experiences at Illovo. “So I’m almost at the end of my notice period after resigning. I had completely forgotten the rollercoaster of emotion that one experiences during this time. But thankfully it also offered a great gift of reflection. This time allowed me the opportunity to get off the hamster wheel to pause, evaluate how far I had come, appreciate the score put on the board/laugh out loud about my own goals/smile over the assists & dream about what is to be.”

She added that she is also appreciative that she can gently close this door with love and gratitude – no slamming required. “Ready to step forward with an open mind, open heart and steady hands,” she wrote.

Announcing her move to Unilever, Celeste expressed her gratitude to Justin Apsey, MD and executive VP Southern Africa at Unilever, and Mvuyi Mntwapi, VP for HR Africa at Unilever, for the confidence: “I am truly grateful for the opportunity and look forward to working with the team.”

Celeste holds a BA in psychology and sociology and a postgraduate diploma in organisational psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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