Unilever marketers lose practical roles

Unilever is expected to strip profit responsibilities from its most senior marketers, Simon Clift and Anthonie Stal, in a wide-ranging shake-up of the organisation as part of its “simplification” strategy.

The new-look structure, announced last week by incoming chief executive Patrick Cescau, scraps Unilever’s two separate divisions, health and personal care (HPC) and food. These divisions were responsible for developing brands globally, selling them into the trade and managing the profits. They worked on a local level with regional business group presidents. Those business groups are being axed and some of the presidents will leave the company.

In the new structure, branding will be split from implementation. Unilever’s slimmed-down executive team will have three regional presidents – for Europe, the Americas and Asia and Africa – with sole responsibility for profits, sales and relationships with retailers.

The executive team will have two brand heads. Ralph Kugler has been promoted to president of home and personal care, while Vindi Banga is president of food. They will only handle branding and advertising and will not be involved with implementing the strategies they create.

It is unclear how the new structure will operate below board level, though up to 14 senior executives are expected to lose their jobs.

But an insider says that Clift, previously marketing president for HPC and the man behind Lynx and Dove, is expected to report to Kugler. Stal, who replaced Anthony Simons as marketing president for food last August, will be the most senior marketer for food and will report to Banga.

In their previous roles, both Clift and Stal worked alongside senior vice-presidents for finance in their divisions. Now, they will concentrate solely on developing ad campaigns and brand strategy.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here