In 2006, Unilever Foods and Home & Personal Care President Vindi Banga led a review of the company’s science and technology capabilities as part of the ‘One Unilever’ programme.
The review showed that reorganisation of research and development sectors was necessary in order to improve market competitiveness.
A further review of the business this year resulted in the appointment of Geneviève Berger as Unilever’s Chief R&D Officer and the decision to create a single category function by combining the three global R&D operations.
Now Unilever has announced six strategic research sites Vlaardingen (NL), Port Sunlight and Colworth (UK), Trumbull (USA), Bangalore (India) and Shanghai (China).
For product design and deployment, which is part of the category organisation led by Vindi, Unilever has decided to consolidate Food activities in the Americas to Englewood Cliffs (USA), Valinhos (Brasil) and Mexico City (Mexico). Global Laundry R&D is consolidated in Vlaardingen (NL), Port Sunlight (UK) and Mumbai (India).
Geneviève Berger explained: “The steps we’ve announced today will enable us to go further in focusing our resources on creating fewer, bigger innovations, and deploying them at scale in areas where we want to win. These changes to our organisational structure, together with an increased focus on our open innovation collaborations, will enable us to more efficiently deliver improved product performance to our consumers.”
As a result of the intended changes, Unilever expects that approximately 390 full-time positions will be impacted resulting in a net reduction of 250 full-time positions.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019