Unilever, which makes Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Marmite, plans to announce cutting thousands of management jobs.
Bloomberg and the BBC report sources who say the cuts will be in the “low thousands”
In the UK and Ireland, Unilever has around 6,000 staff on its books, but has around 150,000 workers across the world.
It’s not known where the cuts will be made, or which sections of the company, but recent events suggest many of the jobs lost are likely to be upper management positions.
Unilever had failed in its £50 billion bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health division last week, which caused criticism from its shareholders.
Criticism of Unilever’s management
The firm is seeing rising pressure from its investors to accelerate growth, while the GSK failed bid also caused intense criticism from fund manager Terry Smith, who called GSK’s repeated rebuffs ‘a near death experience’.
Mr Smith, a stalwart name in Britain’s investment industry created a ‘post mortem’ saying Unilever failed to show any analysis of how it planned to make a strong return on its £50billion investment, which is where some of its problems lay.
He also lambasted Unilever’s bosses and said they should consider if the entire ‘debacle’ was their fault. Bernstein economist, Bruno Monteyne predicted a shake up of management roles, with changes at board level.
Unilever saw its share prices drop 0.7 percent after the rejections – GSK said the price offered “fundamentally” undervalued its prospects, when it rejected the final of three offers on New Year’s Eve.
Yesterday (Monday), it was reported Nelson Peltz, an activist investor, had taken a position in Unilever. This caused Unilever’s shares to gain 7 percent in shares.
Mr Peltz’s company, Trian, is known for shaking up consumer firms – having previously carried out changes, such as CEOs stepping down, at other companies it invested in like Kraft Foods and PepsiCo Inc.