Ben & Jerry’s Parent Company Unilever Cuts 7,500 Jobs, Plans To Split Ownership

(Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP) (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Unilever announced Monday its plans to cut 7,500 jobs and split the ownership of its ice cream business, Ben & Jerry’s.

The parent company, which owns Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Dove soap and Vaseline, is attempting to reduce costs and boost profits through its layoffs and move to offload Ben & Jerry’s, ABC News reported.

“Simplifying our portfolio and driving greater productivity will allow us to further unlock the potential of this business, supporting our ambition to position Unilever as a world-leading consumer goods company delivering strong, sustainable growth and enhanced profitability,” Unilever CEO Hein Schumacher said, according to the outlet.

Unilever said separate ownership of Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s was the best move for the company due to the ice cream brand’s “distinct characteristics,” according to the outlet. The split, which is expected to take place at the end of 2025, is intended to increase the growth of the ice cream business.

Unilever’s launch of its “productivity program” is poised to cause 7,500 layoffs, primarily of positions in the office, among the company’s approximate 128,000 employees, the outlet reported. Unilever axed 1,500 employees in early 2022. (RELATED: Vegan Bakery Under Investigation, Accused Of Selling Donuts From Dunkin’)

The British company said it will find efficiencies and avoid duplication through planned investments in technology, according to the outlet. Over the next three years, Unilever reportedly intends to save $867 million.

Shares of Unilever surged more than 3% in late-morning trading on the London Stock Exchange, the outlet noted.

“The share price bounce goes some way in reversing what has been a difficult last year, as investors have fretted over a company with limited high growth prospects and in need of streamlining despite its reputation as a solid defensive play,” Richard Hunter, head of markets for interactive investors, said.

Ben & Jerry’s lost billions in market cap after the ice cream brand released a poorly received tweet about “stolen indigenous land” on July 4, 2023. Ben & Jerry’s previously faced backlash for wading into other political issues as well, including Israel and the Women’s March.