Consumer goods giant Unilever has confirmed plans to cut 1,500 jobs under a shake-up of its global operations.
The maker of Dove soap-to-Marmite, which made the announcement after details were apparently leaked on Monday evening, said the cuts to senior and junior management roles were the result of a new, simpler organisational structure.
The company said it would now consist of five distinct divisions: Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition, and Ice Cream.
The UK-based firm, which employs 149,000 worldwide – 6,000 of them in the UK and Ireland – was yet to confirm where the most job losses would be made but it said that factory operations were to be spared.
The move is seen as a response to shareholders’ concerns about performance in the business and followed a failed takeover bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare division.
It also emerged on Monday that activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Partners had reportedly built a significant stake in the company amid the bid process last week that saw Unilever’s stock crumple.
Values only recovered when Unilever confirmed there would be no further offer beyond the £50bn that had been rejected by GSK on value grounds.
The company’s chief executive, Alan Jope, said of the shake-up: “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.”