Unilever strengthens core teams with leadership restructure

By Felicia Nwosu

Global fast moving consumer goods company, Unilever, is set to restructure with leadership changes to strengthen its core team. The changes tilted towards some key organizational realignment especially in its senior leadership hierarchical positions.

This came with the announcement of Conny Braams, its chief digital and commercial officer, who will be bidding the company goodbye in   August and Graeme Pitkethly, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who will also be going on retirement next May.

For over three years, Braams has functioned efficiently and effectively in her role as the chief digital and commercial officer while overseeing the digital transformation, marketing and customer experience functions of the London-based packaged goods giant company.

Conny Braams is to say goodbye to Unilever after a noble 33 years. Braams, who took over an adapted version of the top marketing role from predecessor Keith Weed, has been on the Unilever Leader Executive team since January 2020.

Braams was appointed the company’s first-ever chief digital and marketing officer in 2020. During her tenure, Braams oversaw purpose-driven branding efforts despite some pushback from investors.

According to the report made available by the Drum, Conny Braams is one of the FMCG giant’s most influential marketers, she spearheaded notable sustainability and DE&I campaigns and oversaw increased investment in AI and machine learning.

Prior to taking on the position, she served as executive VP of Middle Europe and EVP food solutions for Asia, Africa and Middle East, leading those regions’ digital transformations. Braams, who got her start at Unilever as a marketing trainee in 1990, has been a member of the leadership team since 2020.

Braams first joined Unilever as a marketing trainee in 1990 and went on to hold numerous roles at the company over the decades. She was named chief digital and marketing officer in 2019 before taking on the chief digital and commercial officer post last year.

Unilever said it will undertake an internal and external search for its new CFO successor, with Braams’ successor announced at a later date.

While Pitkethly, joined Unilever in 2002 and has held such roles as executive VP and general manager of Unilever’s U.K. and Ireland business, as well as senior VP of finance for global markets and global head of M&A.

Their departures from the company accompany a larger environment of change at Unilever, which made some changes by restructuring into five business groups last year.

This is amid other changes that will follow with new more appointments into several positions with other top personnel in Unilever this year, as the company plans to name an executive to fill the same role. The changes come as the company prepares for the arrival of new chief executive Hein Schumacher, who had been the CEO of dairy and nutrition business Royal FrieslandCampina.

Recall that Unilever has also announced in 2022 that its CEO Alan Jope, has informed the Board of his intention to retire from the company at the end of 2023, after five years in the role. This led the Board in search for a successor in the person of Royal FrieslandCampina boss, Hein Schumacher to replace outgoing CEO Alan Jope

Hein Schumacher, will be welcomed into the team July 1 as he gets set to replace Alan Jope following a one-month handover period.





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