Consumer goods company Unilever has confirmed it will cut 1,500 jobs as part of a restructure of its global operations.
The company, which produces well-known brands such as Dove Soap and Marmite, said the cuts would be to senior and junior management roles as it simplified its organisational structure.
As part of this, Nitin Paranjpe, chief operating officer, will take on a new role as chief transformation officer and chief people officer, heading up the HR function.
It confirmed the job losses after details were leaked to some news outlets on Monday this week (24 January).
Unilever will now be made up of five divisions: beauty and wellbeing; personal care; home care; nutrition and ice cream. The company employs 149,000 people globally, with around 6,000 of those roles in the UK and Ireland.
A centralised business operations group will “provide the technology, systems and processes to drive operational excellence across the business”, Unilever confirmed.
Speculation that an “activist” hedge fund, Trian Partners, had taken a significant stake in the company emerged earlier this week, causing Unilever’s share price to spike.
Trian has a reputation for challenging its investment companies to make strategic and governance changes.
Unilever itself made a bid for rival GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer division earlier this month, but GSK believed the offer was too low and the deal fell through.
Alan Jope, Unilever’s CEO, said: “Our new organisational model has been developed over the last year and is designed to continue the step-up we are seeing in the performance of our business.
“Moving to five category-focused business groups will enable us to be more responsive to consumer and channel trends, with crystal-clear accountability for delivery. Growth remains our top priority and these changes will underpin our pursuit of this.”