Unilever Plans 7,500 Job Cuts and Spin-off of Ice Cream Arm, Including Ben & Jerry’s2 min read

Renowned FMCG Unilever, unveils plans to slash 7,500 jobs and spin off its ice cream division. CEO Hein Schumacher emphasizes the move aims to streamline operations, boost profits, and foster growth. The London-based consumer goods giant cites the distinct nature of its ice cream business, which includes popular brands such as Magnum bars and Ben & Jerry’s, as a catalyst for the separation. The decision reflects Unilever’s strategy to enhance efficiency and focus on core operations.

Simultaneously, Unilever launches a productivity program set to eliminate around 7,500 predominantly office-based roles globally. The company pledges to invest in technological advancements to drive efficiencies and anticipates savings of €800 million over the next three years. CEO Hein Schumacher, who assumed leadership last summer, underscores the significance of simplifying Unilever’s portfolio to unlock its full potential and reinforce its position as a leading consumer goods company.

Unilever’s shares surged more than 3% following the announcement, signaling investor confidence in the restructuring efforts. Analysts note the move’s potential to address concerns over Unilever’s growth prospects and operational efficiency. Despite the restructuring, Unilever remains committed to delivering strong, sustainable growth. The company targets mid-single-digit underlying sales growth post the ice cream business spinoff.

Notably, the decision to separate from Ben & Jerry’s raises discussions regarding the brand’s social activism and its impact on Unilever’s corporate image. While some anticipate a positive effect on Unilever’s reputation, others emphasize the sound rationale behind the strategic move. Ben & Jerry’s has been vocal on various social issues, including LGBTQ+ rights and climate change, often drawing attention to itself and its parent company. The brand’s recent decision to halt sales in Israeli-occupied territories stirred controversy, prompting legal disputes and public debate.

Moving forward, Unilever’s restructuring efforts are expected to reshape its business landscape, potentially unlocking new avenues for growth while addressing operational challenges. As the company embarks on this transformative journey, stakeholders await further updates on its progress and the impact on its brands and workforce.

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