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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Unilever restructures in Middle East

Unilever Arabia creates new business cluster to head up operations in the MENA region.

Unilever Arabia has created a new business cluster to head up its operations in the MENA region, as part of restructuring plan to improve efficiencies. The new cluster will be headed by Jan Zijderveld, who is currently chairman of Unilever Middle East.

The new unit, which is known as NAME (North Africa and Middle East), is intended to simplify the operations of the businesses across four business units in the MENA region.

One of the main purposes of the organisation will be to bring a single voice representing a larger business opportunity and align functional strategies and operations to improve quality, leverage greater scale, synergies and achieve the benefits of cost arbitrage.

"This organisational change will strengthen our ability to leverage the existing similarities, opportunities and capabilities between these Arab countries," Zijderveld said.

"In the new NAME cluster, we are operating in one of the world's fastest growing geographies and are now ideally placed to benefit from the opportunities ahead.

Unilever operating companies in the region have a history of meeting local tastes and budgets. We will continue to leverage Unilever's global R&D resources, backed by creative thinking and working practices, to adapt global brands to local needs and cement Unilever and its brands in a region set to be a growth engine for the business for years to come," he added.

Unilever's portfolio in the new cluster combines foods, home and personal care brands.

In his new role, Zijderveld will be responsible for a region that spans 20 countries with population in excess of 350 million.

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