28 February 2008
BOARD CHANGES AT UNILEVER
Unilever today announced a number of changes to simplify further its structure
and better align its organisation in support of the company's growth agenda.
Building on the success of its One Unilever programme the company now intends to
go further by combining Home & Personal Care and Foods into a single category
To reflect the company's strategic focus on growth in developing markets,
Central & Eastern Europe will in future be managed within an enlarged region
comprising Asia, Africa and Central & Eastern Europe.
Western Europe will become a standalone region.
Simultaneously, a number of Unilever Board and senior executive changes are also
Kees van der Graaf will retire from the Boards of Unilever and from his role as
President Europe at the Annual General Meetings on 14th and 15th May 2008 after
a Unilever career spanning 32 years. Ralph Kugler, President Home & Personal
Care, will similarly step down at the Annual General Meetings after 29 years
Harish Manwani, currently President Asia Africa, will lead the new expanded
region. Doug Baillie will join the Unilever Executive as President of Western
Europe, having previously been Chief Executive Officer of Hindustan Unilever.
The roles of President Home & Personal Care and President Foods will be merged
under the leadership of Vindi Banga, currently President Foods.
Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive said: 'These measures build naturally on
the changes of recent years and give us an organisational structure even better
placed to advance our growth agenda. At the same time, I want to express my
deep appreciation to Kees and Ralph for the significant contribution they have
made over long and distinguished careers. They have been fine colleagues and
can be proud of their achievements. We welcome Doug Baillie onto the Unilever
Executive following the outstanding contribution he has made to the business,
most recently at Hindustan Unilever'.
Michael Treschow, Chairman of Unilever, said: 'We thank Kees and Ralph for all
they have done for us both as executives and as members of the Unilever Board
and we wish them well.'
Also at the AGMs in May, James A Lawrence, currently Chief Financial Officer,
will be proposed for election as an executive director of Unilever. This change
will mean that the Unilever Board will be composed of two executive directors
and 11 non executives. Jim joined Unilever as CFO in September 2007. He is
currently a non-executive director of British Airways PLC and Avnet, Inc.
Unilever requires all Directors to offer themselves for re-election at the AGMs
Accordingly, in addition to James Lawrence, the following directors will be
offering themselves for re-election:
Patrick Cescau, Genevieve Berger, Leon Brittan, Wim Dik, Charles Golden, Byron
Grote, Narayana Murthy, Hixonia Nyasulu, David Simon, Kees Storm, Michael
Treschow, Jeroen van der Veer.
28th February, 2008
Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for
nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good,
look good and get more out of life.
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods
with strong local roots in more than 100 countries across the globe. Its
portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most loved brands
including twelve €1 billion brands and global leadership in many categories in
which the company operates. The portfolio features brand icons such as Flora,
Bertolli, Dove, Lux, Pond's, Lynx, Sunsilk, Persil, Cif and Domestos.
Unilever has around 179,000 employees in approaching 100 countries and generated
annual sales of €40 billion in 2006. For more information about Unilever and
its brands, visit www.unilever.com.
SAFE HARBOUR STATEMENT:
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including
'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'expects',
'anticipates', 'intends' or the negative of these terms and other similar
expressions of future performance or results, including financial objectives to
2010, and their negatives are intended to identify such forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current
expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other
factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they
guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements
involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these
forward-looking statements, including, among others, competitive pricing and
activities, consumption levels, costs, the ability to maintain and manage key
customer relationships and supply chain sources, currency values, interest
rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions and complete planned divestitures,
physical risks, environmental risks, the ability to manage regulatory, tax and
legal matters and resolve pending matters within current estimates, legislative,
fiscal and regulatory developments, political, economic and social conditions in
the geographic markets where the Group operates and new or changed priorities of
the Boards. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the
Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange,
Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the
Annual Report & Accounts on Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak
only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable
law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking
to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements
contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard
thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such
statement is based.
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