Unilever CEO Hein Schumacher is shaking up his company’s organisation: a new executive team is to streamline operations. The multinational is currently growing only thanks to price increases, but wants to improve its performances.
With a comparable sales growth of 5.2 % to 15.2 billion euros in the third quarter, Unilever largely met expectations. However, this growth was due to price increases of 5.8 %, as volumes fell by 0.6 %. The company is particularly struggling in food: its ice cream division – with Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum as its best-known brands – saw volumes fall by 10.1 %. Consequently, despite an 8.2 % price increase, sales fell by 2.8 %.
Schumacher, who has been at the multinational’s helm since July, admits the company’s disappointing performance in recent years and is now coming up with an action plan to get growth going again. Unilever will focus on its thirty strongest brands, which account for 70 % of sales. A new management team is to simplify the operational organisation to increase productivity. Fernando Fernandez, who until now was in charge of the Beauty & Wellbeing division, will become the new Chief Financial Officer.
Given the focus on the thirty strongest brands, acquisitions are no longer planned. However, brands may be divested, including shaving subscription brand Dollar Shave Club.