Unilever marketing chief Keith Weed exits

Weed will leave the FMCG giant in May next year

After close to four decades with Unilever, chief marketing officer Keith Weed is to retire from the business.

Weed will leave the FMCG giant in May next year. Unilever has not confirmed who will be stepping up to take on the top marketing role.

His departure follows on from Alan Jope being appointed to the position of chief executive, taking over from outgoing boss Paul Polman.

Weed said: “I have had a hugely enjoyable time with the company, with a range of positions in different countries. In my current role, I have been privileged to lead some of the best marketing, sustainability and communication teams in the world.

"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 for greater responsibility, transparency and accountability in the advertising and digital industry."

A long legacy

Weed first joined Unilever in 1983. He's held several roles including head of global homecare and hygiene and senior vice-president of hair and oral care. He was appointed to the role of chief marketing and communications officer in 2010.

Over the last few years, Weed has been focused on cleaning up the digital supply chain. Along with P&G rival Marc Pritchard, he has been working with agencies and platforms to stop advertisers losing money to issues like ad fraud and opaque digital measurement.

This year he used Unilever's platform at Cannes to call in the industry to put a stop to influencer fraud, previously he's promised to sever ties with platforms Unilever deems unethical.

Dovetailing this, Weed has been at the forefront of Unilever’s digital transformation and wider efficiency drive. With him at the helm, the company has brought more creative and content production in-house, rethinking its relationship with agencies and upping the ante on data-driven marketing.

Along with Unilever executive vice-president of global marketing and global head of diversity and inclusion, Aline Santos, the marketer has also been key in leading Unilever's pivot towards purpose-driven marketing.

Under his watch the Dove owner's sustainable brands have become the fastest growing part of its business.

Weed was recognised as Global Marketer of the Year 2017 by The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and was recipient of the Lifetime Achievement accolade at The Drum Marketing Awards last year.

Having announced his intention to retire from Unilever, Weed took to Twitter:

I've also been able to be part of the amazing Business and Marketing revolution in the digital world. Engaging in the great things and helping to address some of the unintended consequences. What an incredible journey it has been and will continue to be! pic.twitter.com/9t2HuhcyFH— Keith Weed (@keithweed) December 6, 2018

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