Unilever picks Euro chief

Global giant charges Radion architect with rebuilding market share lost in Persil Power fiasco

Unilever has appointed the man who launched Radion in the UK as the new chief of its laundry detergent business across Europe. He will spearhead its fightback from the Persil Power fiasco.

The managing director of Lever Greece, James Hill, will take the new position of senior vice-president fabrics Home & Personal Care Europe, reporting to the business group president, John Sharpe.

Home & Personal Care Europe is responsible for the operational management of Lever, Elida Fabergé and Unipath across Europe.

Hill’s main task will be to rebuild Persil and Omo market shares across Europe after the enormous problems associated with Persil Power. The brand was scrapped after rival Procter & Gamble led a successful campaign to show that it rotted clothes. Lever has since struggled to recover market share from P&G.

John Sharpe took over as president of the Home & Persil Care Europe business group (MW March 22), which was set up following the review of Unilever’s worldwide structure conducted by incoming chairman Niall Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald set up the business groups to rationalise decision making and prevent further Persil Power-style problems. Sharpe is one of 14 business group presidents who report to the Unilever executive committee.

Sharpe replaced Allan Price on the Lever Europe board last year (MW July 14 1995), joining from Birds Eye Wall’s where he was chairman.

Hill launched Radion in 1989 while at Lever Brothers in the UK and left to take his position in Greece in the early Nineties.

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