Unilever simplifies organisation; expects 1,500 global job losses as part of restructure 

Unilever simplifies organisation; expects 1,500 global job losses as part of restructure 

THE WHAT? Unilever has announced it is to simplify its organisation to make a more category focused business, which will result in thousands of job losses worldwide. 

THE DETAILS Moving away from its current ‘matrix structure’, Unilever will be organised around five distinct Business Groups: Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition, and Ice Cream. 

Each Business Group will be fully responsible and accountable for their strategy, growth, and profit delivery globally.

According to a press release, “To enable Unilever to benefit from its scale and global capabilities, the five Business Groups will be supported by Unilever Business Operations, which will provide the technology, systems, and processes to drive operational excellence across the business. A lean Unilever Corporate Centre will continue to set Unilever’s overall strategy.”

As part of the re-organisation, Unilever has made key leadership changes, including Fernando Fernandez, EVP Latin America, being appointed President Beauty & 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, responsible for Skin Cleansing, Deodorants, and Oral Care.

Other leadership movement will see Nitin Paranjpe, Chief Operating Officer (COO), take on a new role as Chief Transformation Officer & Chief People Officer, leading the business transformation, and heading the HR function.

Reginaldo Ecclissato, Chief Supply Chain Officer, will lead the Supply Chain and Unilever Business Operations as Chief Business Operations Officer. Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, is leaving Unilever to set up an investment fund in technology megatrends

Unilever’s proposed new organisation model will result in approximately 1,500 global job losses, with a reduction in senior management roles of around 15 percent and more junior management roles by 5 percent. 

THE WHY? According to Reuters, the company is trying to boost growth following the failed acquisition of GSK’s consumer arm and is looking to appease activist investors. 

Alan Jope, CEO Unilever, says, “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.”