New World Order at Kimberly-Clark

DALLAS Kimberly-Clark Corp. is reorganizing both its global marketing structure and its top management ranks, the company said.

Under the new organization, the Irving, Texas company’s North American and European Personal Care groups will be combined under a North Atlantic management team. The North American and European Consumer Tissue businesses will also become one unit.

The company, which sells brands like Kleenex, Pull-Ups and Huggies, will continue to consist of three global business segments—personal care, consumer tissue and business-to-business.

Steve Kalmanson will head the North Atlantic Personal Care Unit. He was previously group president of North American Family Care.

Rob van der Merwe will head the North Atlantic Consumer Tissue unit. He formerly served as the head of Kimberly-Clark Europe.

The company also announced it is forming a Developing and Emerging Markets business unit to capture growth opportunities in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Heading that group will be Robert Abernathy, who most recently was head of the company’s Business-to-Business Group.

Taking over the b-to-b unit is Dudley Lehman, previously group president of Child and Infant Care for North America.

In addition, the company announced yesterday that executive vice president Kathi Seifert will retire mid-year.

“These changes will increase our speed in pursing growth opportunities around the world, improve our execution of global strategies and enable more consistent brand position and deployment of other best prices,” client chairman and CEO Thomas Falk said in a statement.

The client could not be reached for comment about the implications the change would have on its roster agencies, which include WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson, both in New York.

Kimberly-Clark spent $235 million on media through October last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.