Courtesy of Unilever

Unilever Spinning Off Ice Cream Business, Cutting 7,500 Jobs

March 19, 2024
The diversified CPG will cut nearly 6% of its global workforce and embark on a cost-savings program over the next three years.

According to a Reuters report, Unilever said it plans to spin off its ice cream business and cut 7,500 jobs as part of a new program to cut costs for the global CPG company. CEO Hein Schumacher said the ice cream business was in the process of moving to a separate headquarters in Amsterdam, as the spinoff gets underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

The ice cream unit houses such brands as Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum and reportedly accounts for approximately 16% of Unilever’s global sales.

With regard to the cost-savings program, the company expects to save around $869 million over the next three years, impacting about 7,500 mostly office-based jobs around the world — about 5.9% of Unilever’s global workforce of roughly 128,000 people, the story noted.

Schumacher became CEO in July 2023 and shared his plan to simplify the business in October, addressing criticism that his predecessor had grown the company’s portfolio to an unwieldy size, causing a loss of focus on its core top performers.

Investors lauded the spinoff of the ice cream business, calling it a volatile business that has dragged on the company overall. All that said, two years ago, Unilever seesawed on its foods and ice cream divisions, at first saying it saw a future where those units would be de-emphasized or even sold off, but then-CEO Alan Jope recommitting to the food and ice cream businesses a month afterward.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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