By Emmanuel Nduka
Unilever has announced that it will slash thousands of jobs in more than 100 countries as part of planned cuts.
The decision by the global consumer giant comes after the company failed in its bid to buy the consumer health division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for $50 billion.
Currently, the UK-based consumer goods company employs 149,000 people worldwide. But it plans to cut thousands of jobs globally as part of a broader restructuring strategy to improve operational efficiency.
The company said the cuts will affect its management teams but not impact its factory workers.
The Indian arm of the British company—Hindustan Unilever—employs 21,000 in India, including 12000 blue-collar workers across 31 factories and 15 offices in India. It is not clear whether job cuts will be applicable to the Indian unit as well.
After it dropped plans to pursue GSK’s healthcare division, Unilever faced much criticism. It had hoped to offset the sluggishness in its foods division with a bigger slice of the personal healthcare market after the acquisition.
GSK said the offer undervalued the division and Unilever refused the raise the offer. The deal which was abandoned swiftly by Unilever, would have been the largest ever in the UK, had been unexpected and put Jope under a scanner.
The entire saga put the company’s management helmed by CEO Alan Jope under a scanner as investors demanded the company to improve operational efficiency rather than taking on new challenges.