Unilever restructures, combines marketing VP roles into a CMO

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 2 November 2015
Unilever brand: Lux

Unilever’s joint top marketers Andrea Martens and Hugo Verkuil are exiting their roles as part of a restructure of the Australian marketing function that will bring both roles together and see a CMO role created.

Currently, Martens and Verkuil lead the personal care and food and home units respectively. Both were promoted into the top roles in 2012 when the departure of Peter Boone, then vice president of marketing for Australia and New Zealand, prompted a reshuffle. However, as of last week those roles no longer exist and Unilever is once more bringing together all the responsibility for marketing and brand under one chief marketing officer. The change came about because both Martens and Verkuil were eyeing opportunities to move on at the same time, so as a result of those moves the decision was made to create a CMO role. 

It has yet to name who will take on the top role, but this is expected shortly.

Martens is leaving Unilever to take on the chief brand officer post for skincare brand Jurlique, while Verkuil will take a short sabbatical and return to Unilever in another role in 2016.

Both Martens and Verkuil will remain in their roles until early 2016.

Clive Stiff, chairman and CEO of Unilever ANZ said: “Together Andrea and Hugo have built a strong marketing function, embedding purpose in our brands as we work to double the size of our business globally while reducing our environmental impact and increasing our positive social impact.

“They leave us with a solid structure and capability in place. With these two moves happening at the same time, we will be merging their roles into one chief marketing officer role for Australia and New Zealand.”

Unilever is one of the biggest spending advertisers in Australia, with a media spend of around $57 million, according to Nielsen.

In July, Unilever moved its media account from Mindshare to PHD, in a move that PHD CEO Mark Coad said at the time was transformative for the agency.

The move is the second major restructure from an FMCG advertiser this week. Last week, AdNews revealed a restructure at Kellogg resulting in marketing director John Broome exiting.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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