Unilever CMO Keith Weed to Retire -- Update

Date : 12/06/2018 @ 5:26PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Unilever Dr (UNA)
Quote : 52.27  1.5 (2.95%) @ 4:39PM
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Unilever CMO Keith Weed to Retire -- Update

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By Suzanne Vranica 

Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed will retire from the company in May, the consumer-products giant said Thursday.

Mr. Weed, 57 years old, has been at Unilever for 35 years. The announcement of his departure comes shortly after the company named Alan Jope to succeed longtime Chief Executive Paul Polman. The company, along with its rivals, faces many challenges, including a shift in consumer tastes.

"I am moving onto another chapter," Mr. Weed said in an interview.

Mr. Weed has been an outspoken marketer for many years and has long advocated for better measurement of digital advertising. He frequently called on digital companies such as Google and Facebook to "stop grading their own homework."

More recently, Mr. Weed began leveraging Unilever's ad spending power to push the digital media industry to weed out content that exploits children, spreads false news, or supports racist and sexist views.

Mr. Weed said he intends to stay active in the industry and continue to push for change.

"The biggest challenge we have is that we need to rebuild trust in advertising," he said. "The industry still needs to work harder" to fix the things that are undermining that trust such as data breaches, the bombardment of ads, fake followers and fake news, he added.

"These issue are all solvable," Mr. Weed said.

Unilever spent more than $9 billion last year marketing its brands such as Lipton, Dove and Knorr, according to the company's annual report.

"I have been privileged to lead some of the best Marketing, Sustainability and Communication teams in the world," Mr. Weed said in a statement. "As the world's second largest advertiser, we have been able to leverage our scale for effectiveness and efficiencies, and we have also been able to leverage our scale for good, leading to greater responsibility, transparency and accountability in the advertising and digital industry."

Unilever didn't name a successor.

Write to Suzanne Vranica at suzanne.vranica@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 06, 2018 12:11 ET (17:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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