Activist company

Major Jewish Donor Joins Board of Ben & Jerry’s Parent Unilever | JNS

A major Jewish donor will be added to the board of Unilever PLC, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, after the investment firm he co-founded recently became its largest shareholder.

According The Wall Street JournalBillionaire and activist investor Nelson Peltz will be added to Unilever’s board after his investment firm, Trian Fund Management LP, acquired a 1.5% stake in the company for $1.6 billion earlier This year.

Unilever is a London-based consumer goods company with international brands such as Hellman’s mayonnaise, Dove soap, Axe, Vaseline, Rexona and ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, among other brands.

Peltz, who is considered an activist investor, is also a major donor and honorary co-chairman of the board of directors of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an institution that has been heavily critical of Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s in the past. He also lobbied for public investment funds to divest from Unilever and placed the company on his 2021 Global Anti-Semitism Top Ten list, which also includes Iran and its terror proxy Hamas.

Unilever faced a backlash from the pro-Israel community around the world after Ben & Jerry’s announced last July that it would stop selling ice cream in Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem, which she called “occupied Palestinian territory”.

The move was condemned by Jewish organizations and politicians, with a number of states reviewing and ceding their pension funds to Unilever, Arizona being the first.

Peltz is expected to join the board effective July 20 as a non-executive director and member of its compensation committee.

Peltz and Trian are major shareholders in fast-food chain Wendy’s and bring experience in turning around troubled businesses, including Unilever rival Proctor & Gamble.

Unilever has underperformed its competitors over the past few years.

It remains unclear whether Peltz plans to settle the situation with Ben & Jerry’s during his tenure on the board.

Anne Tarbell, spokeswoman for Trian, told JNS in an email that the company would not comment on its investment in Unilever. The Simon Wiesenthal Center also did not respond to a similar request.

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