Unilever – the parent company of Marmite, Dove soap and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream – is planning to cut thousands of management jobs as part of a major global restructuring.
The consumer goods giant – which employs about 150,000 people worldwide, including 6,000 in the UK and Ireland – has come under pressure from shareholders to improve its performance, leading to the group-wide overhaul.
A source has revealed that the FTSE 100 company is planning to axe around 15% of senior management roles and 5% of more junior management roles under a restructure, which will create five clear business divisions.
It said the jobs would be lost across the UK and its worldwide operations, but did not give a breakdown of where the cuts will be made.
Last week saw Unilever – which has been under pressure to revive growth after missing recent profit margin targets – stating that it would “not increase” its £50bn bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) consumer healthcare business, after the bid was rejected.
The company declined to comment on the planned cuts, first reported by Bloomberg News, although it did stress that factory teams are not expected to be impacted by the changes.
Unilever’s chief executive Alan Jope said: “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.
“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.”
The five global business groups will be: beauty and wellbeing, personal care, home care, nutrition and ice cream. Each business group will be fully responsible and accountable for its own strategy, growth and profit delivery.