Unilever Announces Executive Changes, New Category Strategy

Unilever announced changes to its category and go-to-market structure to further support its growth plans, especially in its fast-developing businesses in the emerging markets. The new structure allows for a more efficient rollout of increasingly bigger and more scalable innovations, and the optimization of resources behind strategic priorities.

“Unilever now has over half its turnover in the emerging markets, where, over the past 10 years, growth has been close to double digits. We have an opportunity to better support this footprint of the business, to keep our strong momentum, with a more globally aligned country and category organization,” said Unilever CEO Paul Polman.

As part of these changes, Harish Manwani will be appointed as CCO, with effect from September 1, 2011, and will take responsibility for all markets, in order to drive speed-to-market behind further simplification and efficiency. Additionally, the category organization will be broadened to four categories reporting directly to the CEO. Dave Lewis, currently president, Americas, will be appointed as president, personal care, consisting of skin, deodorants, oral and hair.

"Over the past few years we have seen a significant step-up in our innovation success rate and our speed to roll them out across markets. The new structure will further accelerate this," noted Polman.

There will also be executive changes in the refreshment, food and home care categories, including current executive vice president, skin, Antoine de Saint Affrique moving to president of the food category.

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