Unilever will cut several thousand jobs worldwide, insiders reported Monday to Bloomberg news agency. This would mainly concern management positions. According to CEO Alan Jope, decisions can now be taken faster within the originally Dutch multinational with the dismissal round and innovation will run more smoothly. Unilever has not yet confirmed the round of layoffs.
The likely layoffs come shortly after the unofficially confirmed news that American activist investor Nelson Peltz has acquired shares. Peltz’s stake in Unilever means even more public pressure on Jope, who has been under heavy fire since the failed £50 billion bid for the consumer arm of British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The director of major British investor Fundsmith, Terry Smith, called the hunt for GSK “a near-death experience.” Earlier, Smith said Unilever should focus more on solving problems within its own organization than promoting the sustainability of Unilever brands such as Hellmann’s mayonnaise.
Also read: Investor calls Unilever plans ‘near death experience’
A spokesperson for Unilever Netherlands tells ANP that he does not want to comment on rumors in the market. The group has approximately 2,700 employees in the Netherlands. Worldwide, Unilever has about 150,000 employees. The multinational owns brands such as Ola, Ben & Jerry’s, Unox and Knorr.