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Source: The Wall Street Journal
Late last week Unilever announced that its long-time CMO Keith Weed will retire from the company in May next year.
Weed (57), has been with Unilever for 35 years, and the announcement of his departure comes shortly after the company named Alan Jope to succeed longtime Chief Executive Paul Polman, WSJ reported.
Weed led a team that accelerated Unilever’s push into digital marketing, and has been notably outspoken regarding numerous issues that press the industry, such as digital measurement but also safety of children online, false news, or unsafe content online.
He frequently called on digital companies such as Google and Facebook to “stop grading their own homework.”
Mr. Weed said he intends to stay active in the industry and continue to push for change. “I am moving onto another chapter,” he said in an interview, adding: “The biggest challenge we have is that we need to rebuild trust in advertising. 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 issues are all solvable,” Mr. Weed concluded.
Unilever’s spokeswoman said the company won’t immediately name a successor because the decision will be up to Mr. Jope, who starts as CEO next month.
Unilever spent more than $9 billion last year marketing its brands, according to the company’s annual report.