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Unilever to simplify organisation to a category-focused business

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Business |Beauty

Image: Unilever

Unilever, which owns brands including Dove, Vaseline and Sunsilk, is simplifying its organisation to a more category-focused business, which will result in a cut of 1,500 jobs worldwide.

The consumer goods business said in a statement that they would be moving away from its current matrix structure to five category-focused business groups: Beauty and Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition, and Ice Cream. Each business group will be fully responsible and accountable for its strategy, growth, and profit delivery globally.

Alan Jope, chief executive at Unilever, said: “Our new organisational model has been developed over the last year and is designed to continue the step-up we are seeing in the performance of our business. Moving to five category-focused business groups will enable us to be more responsive to consumer and channel trends, with crystal-clear accountability for delivery. Growth remains our top priority and these changes will underpin our pursuit of this.”

To support the five business groups, Unilever Business Operations will provide the technology, systems, and processes to drive operational excellence across the business, with Unilever Corporate Centre continuing to set the company’s overall strategy.

Unilever cutting 1,500 jobs as it moves to five category-focused business groups

As a result of the new set-up, Unilever has announced changes to its leadership team, with Fernando Fernandez, EVP Latin America appointed as president of beauty and wellbeing, which includes haircare, skincare, vitamins, minerals and supplements, as well as Unilever Prestige.

While Fabian Garcia, current president of North America, has been appointed president of personal care, responsible for skin cleansing, deodorants, and oral care.

They both replace Sunny Jain, current president of beauty and personal care, who is stepping down from his role to set up an investment fund in technology megatrends.

For the three other business groups, Unilever said that Peter ter Kulve will continue in his role as president of home care, while Hanneke Faber, current president of foods and refreshment, has been appointed president of nutrition, and Matt Close, EVP of ice cream, has been appointed president of ice cream. They will each take up their new roles on April 1.

In addition, Unilever stated that Nitin Paranjpe, chief operating officer, will take on a new role as chief transformation officer and chief people officer to lead the business transformation and head up the HR function, and Reginaldo Ecclissato, chief supply chain officer, will lead the supply chain and Unilever Business Operations as chief business operations officer.

The UK-based firm, which employs 149,000 worldwide, 6,000 of them in the UK and Ireland, has said that the proposed new organisation model will result in a reduction in senior management roles of around 15 percent and junior management roles by 5 percent, equivalent to around 1,500 roles globally. It added that no factory teams are expected to be impacted by the changes.