Lever Europe chief nets top role in Unilever rejig

Lever Europe’s chief executive officer, John Sharpe, is to become Unilever’s new business group president for Home & Personal Products, Europe.

He will control Lever Europe, Personal Products Europe – including Elida Fabergé – and Unipath.

Sharpe, who is untainted by the Persil Power fiasco, joined the Lever Europe board last September (MW July 14 1995), replacing Allan Price who retired. He joined from Birds Eye Wall’s where he was chairman.

Unilever announced the formation of the new groups last week (MW March 15), as part of a wide-ranging restructure. They devolve operational responsibility to the regional level, leaving strategic decision-making to a seven-person executive.

The presidents of each business unit will be responsible for operational management and will be directly responsible for the profits of companies within their group.

The executive committee, which forms in September, consists of chairmen and category directors. The category directors are responsible for worldwide strategy and will have no responsibility for the profitability of companies within the category.

The category director for Home & Personal Care will be former personnel director and regional director for Europe Clive Butler. Alexander Kemner will be category director for foods.

Former Lever Brother’s UK managing director and regional director for Africa and the Middle East, Roy Brown, will become Food & Beverage Europe group president. He and Antony Burgmans, president of Ice Cream & Frozen, Europe, will report to Kemner.

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