Unilever announces significant leadership reshuffle, Fernandez to become CFO

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Unilever announces significant leadership reshuffle, Fernandez to become CFO
Credit: © Reuters.

Unilever PLC (LON: ULVR ) has announced a major reshuffle in its top leadership positions, effective January 1, 2024. Fernando Fernandez, currently serving as the President of Beauty & Wellbeing Business Group and former leader of Global Hair Care category, is set to become the new CFO. He will replace Graeme Pitkethly, who is retiring on December 31, 2023, but will remain with Unilever until May 2024 to ensure a smooth transition.

In addition to Fernandez's appointment, Priya Nair, previously the Chief Marketing Officer for Beauty & Wellbeing, will take over as the President of the same division. Peter ter Kulve will transition from his current role as President of Home Care to head the Ice Cream division. Eduardo Campanella has been appointed as the new President of Home Care, while Esi Eggleston Bracey, former General Manager Personal Care North America and Head of Country US, will step into the role of Chief Growth and Marketing Officer.

The changes also see the departure of Matt Close and Hanneke Faber from their roles as Presidents of Nutrition and Ice Cream divisions respectively. Faber is leaving to pursue an external opportunity, while Close will exit Unilever by the end of 2023.

The company's CEO Hein Schumacher has praised Fernandez's strategic acumen and leadership skills as crucial for Unilever's ongoing performance enhancement. Despite a year-on-year decrease in Q3 turnover by 3.8% to EUR15.24 billion ($17.59 billion), Unilever has reported a positive underlying sales growth of 5.2%. The nine-month turnover stands at EUR45.78 billion ($52.85 billion), marking a 0.4% increase with a robust underlying sales growth of 7.7%.

Unilever's growth strategy involves bolstering innovation and investment in Power Brands, employing its operating model for increased productivity, and fostering a performance culture driven by ambitious goals. Despite all divisions experiencing a Q3 turnover decline, Unilever's outlook for 2023 remains stable with targets of over 5% underlying sales growth and a moderate improvement in operating margin.

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