Unilever gears up to consolidate personal care business

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever has announced plans to close its Chicago offices by July 2010 as it works to combine its Chicago-based antiperspirants, deodorant and hair care group with its skin care business to form a personal care business unit at its North America headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

The move will impact approximately 200 employees.

Between 2006 and 2009, Unilever has integrated a number of businesses and offices to leverage the resources and capabilities across its brands to drive further growth. Those integrations include supply chain integrations announced in 2008 and 2009, the North American Ice Cream business integration into the U.S. business announced in 2007 and the consolidations of offices in Connecticut and Illinois announced in 2006.

"Over the last few years, we have made significant progress in bringing Unilever teams together in North America," stated Michael Polk, president of Unilever Americas. "We have become a more unified, collaborative and focused organization — and we are driving results. The decision to create a single PC unit within the U.S. business is in line with this progress, and will leverage the resources and capabilities across our PC brands to drive further growth."

Unilever's portfolio of personal care brands includes Axe, Sunsilk, Suave and Degree and Dove.

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