After 35 Years With Unilever, CMO Keith Weed Will Retire in 2019

News follows leadership shakeup in late November

Weed spent much of his time at Unilever developing the company's Sustainable Living Plan—an effort to reduce Unilever's global footprint. Getty Images
Headshot of Katie Richards

Keith Weed, leader of the world’s second largest marketer, is retiring. After 35 years with Unilever, Weed will depart in May of 2019.

The news follows a leadership shakeup in late November at Unilever with Paul Polman retiring after 10 years as CEO.

As with Polman, Weed spent much of his time at Unilever developing the company’s Sustainable Living Plan—an effort to reduce Unilever’s global footprint. “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,” Weed said in a statement.

In the CMO role, Weed also focused on making Unilever a digitally minded company while remaining very outspoken about some of the hurdles along the way. In Cannes this year, Weed discussed working with influencers and declared the company would no longer work with influencers who buy followers.

“We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever,” Weed said at the time, encouraging others in the industry (and Instagram) to push for more transparency in the influencer marketing space.

Weed has been pretty outspoken across the board when it comes to need for transparency on social media platforms, calling on the likes of YouTube and Facebook earlier in the year to help stamp out hate speech.

Unilever has not yet announced a successor for Weed.


@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.
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