Reports: CMO to leave Unilever

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever's chief marketing officer Simon Clift, who has been credited with Axe's success, is stepping down within the next few months, according to published reports.

"Simon has done a great service to Unilever and left his mark in many areas that we will benefit from for years to come," Unilever CEO Paul Polman said in an e-mail, according to published reports. "We have with Axe or Dove some of the biggest innovations of the past decade, or led the move to alternative media in many areas. Simon has decided to retire now and spend more time with his family in Brazil. I enjoyed the past year with Simon and can clearly see why Unilever increasingly is being recognized as innovator in its industry."

Unilever has not yet announced plans for a successor.

Clift, who joined Unilever in 1982, became the company's first chief marketing officer in 2008. Over the years, he has held a number of senior marketing positions within the company -- including a period heading up the global personal care category, and more recently as chief marketing officer.

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