LONDON — Alan Jope, chief executive officer of Unilever, plans to retire at the end of 2023. He has led the company during the past five years. Unilever’s board of directors is now moving forward with finding Mr. Jope’s replacement.

“Unilever has seen improved performance, enabled by its clear strategic choices and a significant company transformation,” said Nils Anderson, chairman of the board. “The board will now conduct an orderly succession process and support Alan and the management team in further driving the performance of Unilever.”

Mr. Jope has been instrumental in reshaping Unilever’s portfolio. Most recently the company sold some of its tea business to CVC Capital Partners for $4.7 billion. The company also has made investments in the market for plant-based foods. In 2018, Unilever acquired The Vegetarian Butcher and in 2020 the company set a goal of achieving $1 billion in the sales of plant-based dairy and meat alternatives.

“As I approach my fifth year as CEO, and after more than 35 years in Unilever, I believe now is the right time for the board to begin the formal search for my successor,” Mr. Jope said. “Growth remains our top priority, and in the quarters ahead I will remain fully focused on disciplined execution of our strategy, and leveraging the full benefits of our new organization.”