Unilever will cut several thousand jobs worldwide, insiders reported Monday to Bloomberg news agency. This would mainly concern management positions. According to CEO Alan Jope, the dismissal round should enable faster decisions to be made within the originally Dutch multinational and innovation should run more smoothly. Unilever has not yet confirmed the round of layoffs.
The likely layoffs come shortly after the unofficially confirmed news that American activist investor Nelson Peltz is becoming a new shareholder. Peltz’s stake in Unilever means even more public pressure on Jope, who has been under heavy fire since the failed £50 billion bid for the consumer arm of British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The director of major British investor Fundsmith, Terry Smith, called the hunt for GSK “a near-death experience.” Earlier, Smith said that Unilever should focus more on solving problems within its own organization than on promoting the sustainability of brands such as Hellmann’s mayonnaise, part of Unilever.
Also read: Investor calls Unilever plans ‘near death experience’
A spokesperson for Unilever Netherlands tells ANP that he does not want to comment on rumors in the market. The group has approximately 2,700 employees in the Netherlands. Worldwide, Unilever has about 150,000 employees. The multinational owns brands such as Ola, Ben & Jerry’s, Unox and Knorr.