Birds Eye picks ex-Lever boss to steer marketing strategy

Unilever-owned frozen food division Birds Eye Wall’s has appointed James Hill as chairman. Hill will be placed in overall charge of marketing.

Hill, who has been with the Anglo-Dutch company since he was a trainee, is to take over from Ian Ferguson. Ferguson is moving to an unspecified role within Unilever, but sources suggest he could take up a senior post in the US.

Hill was chairman of Lever Brothers for two years, before the division merged with Elida Fabergé. Elida Fabergé chairman Keith Weed was named chairman of the newly-created Lever Fabergé business earlier this year. The UK restructure brought Lever Fabergé in line with the rest of Europe, where its home and personal care subsidiaries had already merged, bringing brands such as Cif and Persil, and Lynx and Impulse under one umbrella.

Hill joined Lever Brothers as a trainee in the personnel department, before he moved into the company’s marketing department. It is not known when he will take up the new position.

Birds Eye recently launched a range of meals for cash-rich, time-poor consumers called Enjoy!. The range is being backed with a £20m marketing spend, including a TV ad campaign through McCann-Erickson.

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