Unilever Plc plans to cut 15% of its senior managerial positions to speed decision-making as activist investor Nelson Peltz puts more pressure on the consumer-goods giant.
Alan Jope is making his biggest job cuts since becoming CEO three years ago, eliminating about 1,500 positions as Unilever also reduces junior-management staff by 5%. The company is making ice cream, beauty and personal care independent units as it reorganizes its businesses into five groups.
Last week, Unilever said it planned to announce the reorganization. Bloomberg earlier reported the company planned to reduce staff.
Jope is at a crucial juncture, coming under increasing pressure to chart a new course as the company’s share price lags rivals.
“We are still not hearing what we want,” Royal Bank of Canada analysts led by James Edwardes Jones wrote. “The new operating model announced today might make divestments easier, but we would prefer them to focus on reinvesting cost savings behind their brands and categories. There’s also no signs of any culture change yet given all new segment heads are Unilever incumbents.”
Among the departing senior managers is Sunny Jain, a former Amazon.com Inc. executive who replaced Jope as president of Unilever’s beauty and personal-care arm in 2019. That business, which has been growing at the slowest pace of Unilever’s three major divisions, is being broken up into two under the new organization.