Unilever to lay off 1,500 employees in business model rejig
31 January 2022
British multinational consumer goods company Unilever on Tuesday announced plans to reorganise its business model to make it leaner and focused. Unilever said it will move away from its current matrix structure and focus on five distinct categories- 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," Unilever said in in a press release.
Further, the company announced the transition will be overseen by its current chief operating officer, Nitin Paranjpe. Paranjpe has been appointed Unilever's Chief Transformation Officer and Chief People Officer, leading the business transformation, and heading the HR function.
London-based Unilever said it will be cutting 1,500 jobs globally, as part of the reorganisation. "The proposed new organisation model will result in a reduction in senior management roles of around 15 percent and more junior management roles by 5 percent, equivalent to around 1,500 roles globally. We do not expect factory teams to be impacted by these changes," the release added.
Unilever chief executive officer Alan Jope said the new model was developed over the past year and is aimed at further enhancing the company's already growing 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," Jope said.
The release said the five "Business Groups" will be supported by Unilever Business Operations, which will provide the technology, systems, and processes that would enable Unilever benefit from its scale and global capabilities.
A lean Unilever Corporate Centre will continue to set Unilever’s overall strategy, the release added.
The organisational shift will also be reflected in changes to Unilever's leadership team, the company said.
Unilever's executive vice president (Latin America) Fernando Fernandez has been appointed president, Beauty and Wellbeing, which includes Hair Care, Skin Care, as well as Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements, and Unilever Prestige.
Fabian Garcia, president (North America), has been appointed president, Personal Care, which is responsible for Skin Cleansing, Deodorants, and Oral Care.
Peter ter Kulve will continue in his role as president, Home Care, which encompasses Fabric Care, Home and Hygiene, and Water and Air.
Hanneke Faber, president, Foods and Refreshment, has been appointed president, Nutrition, which will be home to Scratch Cooking, Healthy Snacking, Functional Nutrition, Plant-Based Meat, and Food Solutions.
Matt Close, executive vice-president (Ice Cream), has been appointed president (Ice Cream), a Business Group in its own right. These appointments are effective from April 1, 2022.
In addition, Reginaldo Ecclissato, chief supply chain officer, will lead the Supply Chain and Unilever Business Operations as Chief Business Operations Officer, while Sunny Jain, president, Beauty and Personal Care, has decided to leave Unilever to set up an investment fund in technology megatrends. Other members of the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) will remain in-role, including Sanjiv Mehta, who will retain executive leadership of Hindustan Unilever, he release added.