SOURCE: Unilever

November 19, 2007 15:09 ET

Unilever Appoints John LeBoutillier New Leader of U.S. Ice Cream Business

John LeBoutillier of Kraft to Head Unilever U.S. Ice Cream Business; Eric Walsh, Chairman of North American Ice Cream Business, to Retire

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ--(Marketwire - November 19, 2007) - Unilever (NYSE: UL) (NYSE: UN) announced today the appointment of John LeBoutillier to lead the newly created U.S. Ice Cream Leadership Team. LeBoutillier will join Unilever on December 1, 2007 after a 15-year career at Kraft Foods where he held senior leadership positions in the coffee, crackers, desserts and beverages businesses. His most recent role was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Kraft's Coffee Division. Prior to joining Kraft, he spent four years at Ogilvy and Mather. LeBoutillier will chair the newly formed U.S. Ice Cream Leadership Team and will also become a member of Unilever's North American Foods Regional Operations Leadership Team. He will be based in the company's U.S. head office in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

"We are delighted to have John join Unilever," said Michael B. Polk, President, Unilever Americas. "John's leadership, experience and marketing expertise will be a great asset for Unilever's Ice Cream business in the United States. With John leading the new U.S. Ice Cream Leadership team, we have the people, the assets and the right business model in place to continue the drive for profitable growth on this important business."

Eric Walsh, currently Chairman, North American Ice Cream, has decided to retire from the business, effective April 1, 2008, following a distinguished career at Unilever, including the last 16 years leading the Ice Cream business.

"Eric has had an extraordinary career at Unilever. Under his leadership, Unilever's North American Ice Cream business has grown from $200 million to over $1.5 billion," said Polk. "Thanks to Eric and his team, today this business is a significant portion of the U.S. and Canadian portfolios, with great potential for continued growth. Eric has agreed to work closely with John to transition the business in the U.S. until his retirement at the end of the first quarter."

Unilever announced Oct. 11 the integration of its North American Ice Cream business into the company's existing U.S. and Canadian operating units, leading to today's announcement about the newly formed U.S. organization. Under the company's One Unilever agenda, the integration is consistent with the move to one operating company per geography and Unilever's goal to maximize go-to-market opportunities. The new U.S. Ice Cream Business Team and the North American Brand Development and Innovation Leadership Teams will be based in Englewood Cliffs once the relocation from Green Bay, WI is complete. As previously announced, the Green Bay office will close at year-end 2008. Some of the company's Supply Chain resources will be located in Trumbull, CT.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT: This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'expects,' 'anticipates,' 'intends' or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, including financial objectives to 2010, and their negatives are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, competitive pricing and activities, consumption levels, costs, the ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain sources, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions and complete planned divestitures, physical risks, environmental risks, the ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments, political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report & Accounts on Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

About Unilever

Unilever (NYSE: UL) (NYSE: UN), one of the world's largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Good Humor, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs approximately 13,000 people in more than 60 office and manufacturing sites in 24 states and Puerto Rico -- generating nearly $10 billion in sales in 2006. For more information, visit

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