Unilever reveals plans to become ‘more category-focused’ business

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Unilever has announced changes to its organisational model to make it a simpler, ‘more category-focused’ business.

The company will move away from its current matrix structure and will be organised around five distinct business groups: beauty & wellbeing, personal care, home care, nutrition, and ice cream. Each group will be fully responsible and accountable for their strategy, growth and profit delivery globally.

“Our new organisational model has been developed over the last year and is designed to continue the step-up we are seeing in the performance of our business,” said Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope.

“Moving to five category-focused business groups will enable us to be more responsive to consumer and channel trends, with crystal-clear accountability for delivery. Growth remains our top priority and these changes will underpin our pursuit of this.”

To enable Unilever to benefit from its scale and global capabilities, the five business groups will be supported by Unilever Business Operations, which will provide the technology, systems, and processes to drive operational excellence across the business.

As a result of the new set-up, the company is making changes to its leadership team. Fernando Fernandez, EVP Latin America, has been appointed president of beauty & wellbeing, which includes hair care, skin care, vitamins, minerals and supplements, as well as Unilever Prestige.

Fabian Garcia, president of North America, has been appointed president of personal care, responsible for skin cleansing, deodorants, and oral care. Peter ter Kulve will continue in his role as president of home care, responsible for fabric care, home & hygiene and water & air.

The new appointments, including changes to Unilever’s nutrition and ice cream division staff, will be effective from 1 April. In addition, Nitin Paranjpe, formerly chief operating officer, will take on a new role as chief transformation officer and chief people officer, while Reginaldo Ecclissato, currently chief supply chain officer, will lead the supply chain and Unilever Business Operations as chief business operations officer.

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