Skip to main content

Unilever aiming to make managers think more like owners of the business

| International retailers

Less than two weeks after seeing off a takeover attempt by Kraft Heinz, Unilever has outlined new ways it hopes will incentivise and increase longer term personal commitment amongst its key executives and directors in order to drive improvement in the group’s performance.

In its annual report released this week, Unilever revealed proposals for a new remuneration plan which places greater emphasis on long-term employee share ownership. At first, this will involve simplifying compensation for its top 500 senior executives below board level by consolidating fixed pay into a single figure and discontinuing one of its long-term incentive plans.

The remaining ‘management co-investment plan’ will see its performance horizon expanded from three years to four with managers encouraged to invest a greater proportion of their annual bonuses in Unilever shares.  The plan’s performance measures will also be amended to more closely align with Unilever’s business strategy. It is understood there will be no change to their total pay, provided managers invest 60% of their bonus back into the company.

The plan needs to be approved by shareholders at Unilever’s annual general meetings in April but new framework will also extended to its Chief Executive Paul Polman and Chief Financial Officer Graeme Pitkethly, with some additional requirements.

Meanwhile, Unilever is also looking to extend its share incentive scheme from 3,000 senior managers to all of its 15,000-plus managers worldwide from 2018.

Ann Fudge, head of its compensation committee, said: “Through these initiatives we will encourage all our employees fully to adopt an owner’s mindset with the goal of achieving our growth ambition.”

Polman added that incentivising managers with shares would foster an “ownership mentality” and generate a more entrepreneurial culture within the business as it strives to improve profitability.

Unilever announced last week that it had launched a major strategic review of its business to boost returns for shareholders. Analysts have speculated that this could see the consumer goods giant spin-off of its food business into a separate listing, sell some of its underperforming brands, and slash costs across the business.

Pin It

Related Articles

Spar reports growth of 3.3% as global retail sa...

SPAR, the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain, has seen annual retail sales break the €40 billion mark for the first time, today reporting global sales revenue of €41.2 billion for the year ending December 31st, 2021. The figures represent...

Informal Retail in Africa: Could Technology be ...

Since the turn of the century and consistently for nearly a decade before the COVID-19 pandemic ravished global markets, Africa was home to the fastest growing economies. The shoots of positive growth it demonstrated afforded it the title of the “...

Consumers need a good reason to shop this Black...

Last year’s Black Friday retail sales massively underperformed for many reasons, according to Marino Sigalas, Account Director at The MediaShop. He says that some consumers were not comfortable with the thought of being shoulder to shoulder with o...

Checkers launches deals onto its Sixty60 home d...

Retailer Checkers says that customers using its Sixty60 home delivery service will now be able to benefit from its Xtra Savings rewards programme.

SA wipe manufacturer Sani-touch is ahead of the...

In the UK a government minister is calling for a new law to ban wet wipes that contain plastic. Labour minister Fleur Anderson argues that around 90% of the 11 billion wet wipes used in the UK per year contain some form of plastic that turns into ...