CMO Simon Clift to quit Unilever

Word reaches me in Austria that Simon Clift, chief marketing officer of Unilever, has quit.

The reason for his departure remains unclear,  but may stem from an uneasy relationship with Unilever chief executive, and ex-P&G and Nestle man, Paul Polman, to whom Clift reports directly.

Cambridge graduate Clift has spent his entire career at Unilever, which he joined as a management trainee in 1982. He has held senior positions right across the world and covering all Unilever’s categories.

He was Unilever’s first global chief marketing officer, responsible for how Unilever develops and executes marketing across all categories – including worldwide advertising agency policy, market research, media buying, marketing capability, recruitment, training and career development.

He is also a non-executive director of BBC Worldwide.

The news of Clift’s departure broke as Unilever appointed MindShare to about $1.7bn media planning and buying, after a lengthy consolidation review.

UPDATE: Unilever has now confirmed Clift’s departure. Officially he is retiring from the company, in several months’ time.

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3 Responses to CMO Simon Clift to quit Unilever

  1. […] turbo-charged communications role Congratulations to Keith Weed, who has just been appointed Simon Clift’s successor as global CMO at […]

  2. […] that Simon Clift, chief marketing officer of many years’ standing at Unilever, is stepping down. What’s less apparent is whether the imaginative, regenerative campaigns associated with his […]

  3. […] new chief marketing officer Keith Weed. One of Weed’s first initiatives on taking over from Simon Clift earlier this year was to approve a crowdsourcing drive for 13 of Unilever’s biggest brands, […]

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