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Consumer goods giant Unilever cutting 1,500 management jobs

Associated Press

London — Unilever, which makes Vaseline skin care products and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, says it's laying off 1,500 staff as part of a company-wide restructuring.

The proposed changes mean that senior management jobs will be cut by about 15% while junior management roles will be reduced by 5%, it said Tuesday. The London-based consumer goods giant employs 149,000 people globally.

The changes, which are subject to consultation, won't affect factory teams, Unilever said in a statement posted on its website.

Under the reorganization, the company will be organized into five distinct groups: beauty and wellbeing, personal care, home care, nutrition, and ice cream.

The shakeup ”will enable us to be more responsive to consumer and channel trends, with crystal-clear accountability for delivery," CEO Alan Jope said.

The revamp comes swiftly after news this month that the company made an unsolicited 50 billion pound ($67 billion) bid to acquire GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health care unit that was rejected, sending its shares tumbling and sparking a backlash from leading investors.

Unilever has more than 400 consumer brands, including Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Lipton tea, Dove soap and Rexona deodorant.