Changes show Unilever is on track, declares Train
ONE of Unilever’s biggest backers has welcomed the shake-up at the consumer goods giant under its new boss.
last month chief executive Hein Schumacher told investors the company would be dialling down its woke agenda to focus on the bottom line after years of under-performance.
Fund management star nick Train said in an email: ‘Schumacher’s comments demonstrate that Unilever thinks that a fresh perspective on the business is necessary.’
The co-founder at lindsell Train, which is Unilever’s ninth biggest investor, added: ‘We are always looking for our companies to re-assess the assets they own in a clear-eyed manner to ensure that they are being run as well as possible.’ Schumacher, who took over in July, has been under intense pressure from investors to dial down the firm’s ‘virtue signalling’. The Dutchman replaced alan Jope, who had a rocky final year after a bungled attempt to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer business was followed by billionaire activist investor nelson Peltz joining the board.
Under Jope, the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream became engulfed by woke culture, which caused outrage from other prominent investors, most notably Terry Smith. But Schumacher ( pictured) has vowed to make a clean break and will focus on 30 ‘power’ brands which make up 70pc of Unilever’s turnover.
Schumacher said last month: ‘not every brand should have a social or environmental purpose. We don’t want to force-fit that on brands unnecessarily.’
Unilever shares remained flat at 3854.5p after the markets closed yesterday.