Unilever overhauls company structure, management

LONDON — Unilever has announced changes to its category and go-to-market structure to further support its growth plans and allow for a more efficient rollout of increasingly bigger and more scalable innovations.

The changes include several executive moves, including the appointment of Harish Manwani as COO.

"Unilever now has over half its turnover in the emerging markets, where, over the last 10 years, growth has been close to double digits. We have an opportunity to better support this footprint of the business, to keep our strong momentum, with a more globally aligned country and category organization," Unilever CEO Paul Polman said.

As part of these changes, Manwani, who currently serves as president for Asia Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, will be appointed COO, effective Sept. 1, and will take responsibility for all markets, in order to drive speed-to-market behind further simplification and efficiency.

The category organization will be broadened to four categories directly reporting to Polman. The new structures will be put in place during the third quarter and will be fully operational before year-end:

  • Dave Lewis, currently president, Americas, will be appointed president, personal care consisting of skin, deodorants, oral and hair;

  • Kevin Havelock, currently EVP ice cream, will be appointed president of the newly established refreshment category, which includes ice cream and beverages;

  • Antoine de Saint Affrique, currently EVP skin, will be appointed president, food, which includes savoury, spreads and dressings; and

  • In the home care category, Randy Quinn, currently EVP laundry, and Sean Gogarty, SVP household care, will report directly to Polman.

As reported by Drug Store News, Michael Polk, president of global foods, home and personal care is leaving Unilever after eight years with the company to become president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid, effective July 18.

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