Unilever has announced a number of changes to its organisational structure, including 1,500 job cuts, as part of a drive to make it a “more category-focused business”.
The company said it would move away from its current matrix structure and instead would be organised around five distinct business groups: Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition and Ice Cream.
Each business group will be independently responsible for their strategy, growth, and profit delivery globally.
The proposed new organisation model will result in a reduction in senior management roles of around 15% and more junior management roles by 5%, equivalent to around 1,500 roles globally.
Factory team roles are expected to remain unaffected.
“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,” said Unilever CEO Alan Jope. “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.”
The changes come after news broke of Unilever’s £50bn bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer arm saw a sharp fall in its share price last week.
Unilever outlined its “strategic direction” in response, including changes to its organisational structure.
The five business groups will be supported by a centralised business operations unit, while a “lean” Unilever corporate centre will continue to set its overall strategy.
The five new business units will be headed by existing Unilever execs.
Fernando Fernandez, EVP Latin America, will become president beauty & wellbeing (which includes haircare and skincare, as well as vitamins, minerals and supplements, and Unilever prestige); Fabian Garcia, president North America, has been appointed president personal care; Peter ter Kulve will continue in his role as president home care; Hanneke Faber, president foods & refreshment, has been appointed president nutrition; while Matt Close, EVP ice cream, has been appointed president ice cream.
These appointments are effective from 1 April 2022.
Additionally, COO Nitin Paranjpe will take on a new role as chief transformation officer & chief people officer and Reginaldo Ecclissato, chief supply chain officer, will lead the supply chain and become chief business operations officer.
Meanwhile, Sunny Jain, president of beauty & personal care, will leave Unilever to set up an investment fund in technology megatrends.