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.



(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.)

Dear reader,

Business Standard has always endeavored to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and that have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your constant encouragement and feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these challenging times stemming from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative opinions and incisive commentary on relevant topical issues.
However, we have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more so that we can continue to bring you more great content. Our subscription model has received an encouraging response from many of you who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of bringing you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism we are committed to.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

digital editor