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Christopher Luxon emerged as a Unilever superstar starting in the late 1990s, when he led the effort to beat back Procter & Gamble Co.'s expansion of Secret deodorant into Europe and Asia.

P&G withdrew Secret overseas, but the New Zealander followed his quarry home. At only 35, Mr. Luxon is VP-brand development for North American deodorants. Three of the four deodorant brands he oversees grew double digits, and the fourth, Suave, was up more than 9% last year. Unilever says it's become the No. 1 overall deodorant player in the U.S., as it already was globally. Unilever's Axe work on Mr. Luxon's watch earned client-of the-year honors at the One Show and Clios this year.

Now, "We'd like to open some space between us and [P&G]," Mr. Luxon says.


* VP-brand development, N. American deodorants

* One of its youngest VPs globally
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