Alan Jope 2019: Bumpy start to the year
Photo: RICCARDO SAVI/Getty Images via AFP
The boss of the consumer goods group Unilever, Alan Jope, wants to retire from the company.
The 59-year-old wanted to vacate his post at the end of next year and leave the company, Unilever announced in London.
The company, which is known for Dove soap and Knorr packet soups, among other things, now wants to look for a successor within its own ranks, but also externally.
In total, Jope claims to have worked for Unilever for more than 35 years.
In 2019 he was promoted to CEO of the group.
Unilever got off to a rocky start to the year under Jope, who made three bids for GlaxoSmithKline's consumer health division in January.
This move was disapproved of by shareholders.
Some criticized Unilever for too much focus on sustainability alongside its core business.
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In addition, around a few months ago, hedge fund manager Nelson Peltz was promoted to Unilever's board of directors.
He had previously built up a stake in Unilever through his investment company Trian Partners.
In January, the company also announced that it would cut around 1,500 management positions.
Unilever is to be rebuilt and focus on a few main product areas.
In addition, rising food and energy prices are causing consumers' household budgets to shrink.
It is unclear to what extent Jope's announced withdrawal has anything to do with these developments.
He shared, "Growth remains our top priority and in the coming quarters I will be fully focused on executing our strategy in a disciplined manner."
However, an insider spoke of an "unusual" decision to let the market know more than a year before Jope's departure.
According to him, there may have been concerns that the news might have leaked before the official announcement.