Unilever’s Matt Burgess to head up UK skin care division

Matt Burgess, managing director, Incs at Unilever is to leave his role to head up the company’s UK skin care division.

The company currently has a range of personal care brands including Lynx, Dove, Lux, Sure, Pond’s, Sunsilk and Vaseline.

Over the next year, it will expand its offerings to accommodate the personal care business of Sara Lee, which Unilever bought for €1.27bn (£1.16bn) last September. This will include brands such as Sanex, Radox and Duschdas.

It is understood that Burgess will be responsible for integrating the two businesses within the UK, which Unilever CEO Paul Polman says is “a strategic category and a key growth driver for Unilever” concentrating only on its skincare offerings, which excludes hair care products and deodrant products.

A company spokesperson confirmed he is moving from Incs, but was unable to provide further details of what his new job will entail.

The company believes that “there is “significant potential to build these brands in developing and emerging markets, which already generate approximately 15% of their annual sales.”

Burgess will report to Matt Close, Unilever’s vice president of marketing for the home and personal care division in the UK and Ireland. It is thought the division has a turnover of over €1bn and a marketing investment of about €200m.

In 2005, Unilever opened a $23m research and development center aimed at consolidating its capabilities for skin care alongside those for laundry product.

Sara Lee’s interim marketing director Jonathan Moore left the company earlier this month to join WCRS in the newly created position of chief strategy officer.

Burgess has been at Unilever since 1998 and was made managing director of the Chrysalis division – home to Marmite, Pot Noodle, Peperami and Bovril in 2007. The division was disbanded earlier this year and renamed Incs. it is unclear if he will be replaced.

Earlier this week, he unveiled a crowd sourced TV ad for a Peperami brand extension called Peperami Nibblers, bite-sized versions of the spicy sausage.

Burgess is also a judge for Pitch’s Blades awards, which take place next month.

This story first appeared on Pitch, Centaur’s subscription-based online interactive marketplace for agencies and clients to share news, opinion and debate.


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