Unilever initiates top-level shakeup to promote market growth

Unilever has merged its food and home, and personal care arms into a single category, and put its directors in a race for the top job. It has also made a series of changes to the Unilever board and among its senior team.

The company says the shakeup is a bid to simplify its structure and promote further growth in developing markets. Group chief executive Patrick Cescau says: “These measures build naturally on the changes of recent years and give us an organisational structure even better placed to advance our growth agenda.”

The company says two of its executive team – European president Kees van der Graff and president of home and personal care Ralph Kugler – will step down at Unilever’s annual meeting in May.

The roles of president of home and personal care and president of foods will be merged under the leadership of current president of foods Vindi Banga.

Chief financial officer James Lawrence will be put forward to be elected as the company’s executive director at the meeting in May. Lawrence joined Unilever in September last year and is also a non-executive director of British Airways and Avnet. The company requires all of its 13 directors to offer themselves for re-election.

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