Two Key Execs Retire; Four Get New Posts; Marketing Structure Changed

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CINCINNATI ( -- Kimberly-Clark Corp. today announced a major reorganization and management shakeup, including a more global structure, retirement of two key
executives and appointment of four key executives to new posts.

The new structure includes two new North Atlantic units that will oversee Kimberly-Clark's consumer brands in both North America and Western Europe, a new Developing and Emerging Markets unit to handle all consumer brands elsewhere, and a global business-to-business unit.

Kimberly-Clark is the maker of brands such as Huggies, Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott and Kotex.

Steve Kalmanson, 51, now group president, North American Family Care, will become president of the new North Atlantic Personal Care unit, including the Huggies, Kotex and Depend brands and baby wipes, which are being shifted from the company's family care sector.

Rob van der Merwe, 51, now head of Kimberly-Clark Europe, becomes president of the North Atlantic Consumer Tissue unit, including the Kleenex, Cottonelle and Scott brands. Robert Abernathy, 49, head of the business-to-business unit, becomes president of the new emerging markets unit. And Dudley Lehman, now group president of child and infant care in North America, becomes president of Mr. Abernathy's former unit.

All four executives will report directly to Chairman-CEO Thomas J. Falk.

Agency roster
Kimberly-Clark's advertising agencies include WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson and MindShare for media services.

The company also announced Kathi Seifert, 54, executive vice president, and Paul Geisler, 62, group president for Asia/Pacific, will retire in mid-2004 in what was termed "an orderly succession plan that has been in place for some time."

Kimberly-Clark has been under growing competitive pressure in recent years and delivered stagnant earnings and slowing top-line growth, losing share in its most profitable businesses -- diapers and feminine protection -- to a resurgent Procter & Gamble Co.

Shares improving
But the company has recently posted three consecutive months of share growth in its diaper business in the U.S. and its best overall month for U.S. shares in more than a year in the four weeks ended Dec. 27, according to Banc of America Securities.

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