Unilever - A Gaint in Trouble

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Abstract A couple of years ago, it was unimaginable that Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer and personal goods company would get into any trouble. 2004 was clearly a very disappointing year for Unilever. Underlying sales growth was only 0.4%, with leading brands growth at 0.9%. The revenues declined from € 42.7 billion for the year 2003 to € 40.2 billion for the year 2004, a decline by 6%. In the background of these issues, Unilever abandoned its dual chairmen structure and Patrick Cescau was made Group Chief Executive of Unilever. The case discusses the decline of Unilever. The case also discusses the five-year "Path to Growth" strategy and its results. Details pertaining to its structural changes in the top management and its new strategy "Plan 2010" are also discussed. At the end of our five-year "Path to Growth" period we are not where we set out to be. - Antony Burgmans and Patrick Cescau Co-Chairmen, Unilever "We are not competing as effectively as we need to right across the business." We need to raise our game. - Patrick Cescau Chief Executive, Unilever Unilever management has its work cut out. "Growth strategy appears to have sort of faltered." - Lex Werkheim Analysts and Company watcher "I am excited to have been entrusted with this new challenge." These changes are designed to make us more competitive in the marketplace. - Patrick Cescau Chief Executive, Unilever A couple of years ago, it was unimaginable that Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer and personal goods company would get into any trouble. 2004 was clearly a very disappointing year for Unilever. Underlying sales growth was 0.4%, with leading brands growth at 0.9%. The revenue... ... middle of paper ... ... Unilever Annual report 2004 Unilever streamlines its leadership structure, February 10, 2005 Competitive Pricing's Impact on Unilever's growth strategy, professional pricing society, April 02, 2005 Poor weather hits Unilever's sales, BBC online News & Events, Oct 16, 2002 Unilever Annual report Unilever's acquisition, www.personal.psu.edu Unilever simplifies Portuguese production, Food & Drink europe.com, December 12, 2004 Lean times for Unilever, Business Week Online, June 15, 2004 Cescau washes Unilever whiter, Telegraph, September 13, 2005 European Business, October 2004 www.morningnewbeat.com, March 24, 2005 European Business, October 2004

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