Activist countries

Unilever to cut thousands of jobs in more than 100 countries: report


Consumer goods giant Unilever is expected to announce thousands of job cuts worldwide this week, the BBC has reported.

Soap maker Marmite and Dove will cut positions in more than 100 countries, with cuts in the “small thousands” expected, according to the BBC report citing a source.



It comes a week after the company failed in its bid to buy the consumer healthcare division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for £50bn.

Unilever, which declined to comment on the cuts, is facing mounting pressure from investors to accelerate its growth.

The UK-based company, which has 149,000 employees worldwide, will make redundancies as part of a wider restructuring that will see it adopt a more competitive operating model.

It is not yet clear where the job cuts will fall. The company employs over 6,000 people in its operations in the UK and Ireland.

Last week, Unilever angered some investors by dropping a short-lived pursuit of GSK’s healthcare business, according to the BBC report.

Unilever initially said it wanted a bigger share of the personal health and hygiene market, to offset slow growth in its food business.

But GSK, which owns brands such as Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, said the offer “fundamentally undervalued” the division and Unilever has since refused to increase its offer.

The saga has sparked unease about the direction of the company under chief executive Alan Jope, with the head of Unilever’s 13th-biggest investor calling GSK’s bid a “near-death experience”.

Terry Smith, who runs Fundsmith, urged the company to focus on the operational performance of its existing businesses “before tackling other challenges”.

In a new twist on Monday, it emerged that New York-based activist investor Nelson Peltz has taken a stand in Unilever.

Peltz’s hedge fund, Trian Partners, has already demanded reforms at rival consumer goods companies Procter & Gamble and Mondelez, according to the report.

–IANS

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(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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