Unilever creates post for U.S. marketing services

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Unilever has appointed its first marketing-services executive with duties spanning its entire U.S. business-including both its food and home and personal-care units-as the personnel moves in its "One Unilever" restructuring enter the home stretch.

Laura Klauberg, formerly senior VP-marketing of Unilever Cosmetics International, the fine-fragrance business Unilever sold to Coty earlier this year, becomes senior marketing officer, reporting to Alan Jope and Mike Polk, group VPs of the North American HPC and Food units respectively.

Prior to Ms. Klauberg's appointment, the only other top marketing executive with duties spanning both Unilever businesses was Brad Simmons, VP-media services for North America.

Unilever is nearing the end of the hundreds of reassignments of marketing executives associated with the restructuring, launched in January, with all One Unilever-related assignments expected to be complete by the end of the month, according to people familiar with the moves.

The restructuring organizes Unilever into brand-development organizations responsible for developing product mixes and advertising, and regional operating units with profit-and-loss responsibility and control over other aspects of the marketing mix, media planning and buying, sales, manufacturing and logistics. Previously, Unilever was organized primarily along regional lines with several independent units operating even within regions.

Slowdown?

Some close to the company have said the massive management overhaul is likely to slow down or disrupt marketing plans short-term. But Unilever last month posted the best quarterly top-line results it has seen in more than a year.

Ms. Klauberg's duties will include handling relations with Unilever's advertising and marketing services agencies for food and home and personal-care units. Prior to her 2003 move to the cosmetics division, which handled advertising in-house, Ms. Klauberg was VP-brand development for North American skin care at Unilever. She'll split her time between Unilever's home and personal-care headquarters in Greenwich, Conn., and its food headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., said Allison Harmon, senior marketing communications manager for Unilever HPC.

Lisa Klauser, who was VP-integrated marketing for Unilever Foods, will move to a new pan- Unilever marketing post, VP-brand building through customers, which will handle shopper marketing as the company consolidates its formerly separate food and home and personal-care sales and trade-marketing efforts.

Michael Murphy, VP-marketing resources of Unilever HPC, who is scheduled to become chairman of the Promotion Marketing Association next year, is leaving Unilever, Ms. Harmon said.

Unilever's agencies include planning and buying shop WPP Group's MindShare and siblings Ogilvy & Mather and JWT; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe and McCann Erickson; Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, and independents Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Dailey & Associates and Stone & Simons.

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