Unilever Announces Global Restructure, Management Job Cuts
Unilever is cutting 1,500 management jobs around the world as the consumer goods giant comes under intense pressure from shareholders to boost growth, reports CNN. The cuts amount to a 15 percent reduction in the number of senior managers and 5 percent of junior managers, Unilever said in a statement on Tuesday. Unilever, which owns household-name brands including Ben & Jerry's and Dove, said it's moving to a "simpler" structure divided into five business units — Beauty and Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition, and Ice Cream — each with their own president. Starting April 1, these business groups will replace the “matrix” structure it has used for much of its history. As a result of the new setup, Unilever is making changes to its leadership team, detailed here.
Total Retail's Take: Unilever is making bold changes to ensure improved business performance and future growth. At the helm is Alan Jope, who was appointed CEO in 2019 and has been with the business since 1985. In a statement, Jope said the overhaul will allow Unilever to be "more responsive to consumer and channel trends" with "crystal-clear accountability for delivery." The company said the new organizational model has been developed over the last year to make Unilever a "simpler, more category-focused business."
Unilever's announcement comes after GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer rejected its 50 billion British pound (about $67.4 billion) offer last week for their joint consumer healthcare venture. Looking to acquire new business units, alongside the corporate shakeup and restructure, Jope commented that "growth remains our top priority, and these changes will underpin our pursuit of this.” Unilever is certainly aiming to appease investors and jump-start growth in 2022, while at the same time reducing costs.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.