Unilever Loses Two Executives

Feb. 10, 2010
Walt Freese and Simon Clift announce departure from food processing industry giant

Walt Freese, who for eight years has been CEO of Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s unit, Burlington, Vt., and vice president of global brand development, announced in February he will resign from the company to pursue other “values-led business and investment opportunities.”

Separately, about the same day, Unilever said Simon Clift, the multinational corporation’s first chief marketing officer, will be stepping down in the next few months to “spend more time with his family in Brazil and pursue other creative opportunities,” a Unilever representative told Brandweek.

Clift, a 30-year veteran of Unilever, held several senior positions -- including president of marketing, chairman of personal care products in Latin America and group VP of personal care -- before becoming CMO in 2008.

Back at Ben & Jerry’s, Freese agreed to stay on till the end of March, at the company’s request. John LeBoutillier, Unilever’s senior vice president of foods-U.S., wished Freese well in a statement.

Unilever has not revealed plans to fill either position.

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