New supply chain chief to take over at Unilever

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
25 January 2022

A new chief supply chain officer will take the helm at Unilever from April as part of a wider management shake-up at the consumer goods giant.

Reginaldo Ecclissato, who was previously executive vice president Mexico, Central America and Greater Caribbean, will take over from Marc Engel, who after 30 years at the company has said it is time to “move on”.

The change comes as Unilever said it would be reducing senior management roles by around 15% and junior management roles by 5%, equivalent to around 1,500 jobs globally, as part of work to make it a “simpler, more category-focused business”.

The moves follows an unsuccessful attempt to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare division and an ensuing revolt by investors, who have accused the company of being “obsessed with publicly displaying sustainability credentials at the expense of focusing on the fundamentals of the business”.

Engel said on LinkedIn: “Challenges have always excited me. I love the journey, achieving the impossible, breaking new ground and inspiring new pathways. These are the key reasons I joined Unilever more than 30 years ago and it’s what kept me here year after year – proving that you can do well by doing good and that sustainable business really is the way to do business.

“It’s also why, after six years as chief supply chain officer on the Unilever Leadership Executive, I’ve made the difficult decision to move on from this great company and hand over the baton to an outstanding successor and start thinking about new career challenges.”

In 2018 Engel told a business conference it was important to question ways of working.

“Disrupt or be disrupted,” he said. “How can you disrupt yourself, rather than say, ‘This is not broken so don’t fix it’. If you don’t break it someone else will.”

Ecclissato thanked Engel on LinkedIn and added: “As I look ahead to 2022, the pandemic is far from over and some of its impacts, such as record inflation and market volatility, will continue to challenge us.

“But, together with our partners, we will continue serving and delighting our consumers, generating mutual responsible growth with our suppliers and furthering our positive action for people and planet, whatever challenges come our way.”

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