Unilever’s CMO to Step Down

Simon Clift is stepping down as the chief marketing officer of Unilever in the next few months, the company has confirmed.

Clift is a 30-year veteran of Unilever and held several positions there, including president of marketing, chairman of personal care products in Latin America and group vp, personal care, before rising to his post as the company’s first CMO in 2008.

But now, nearly three decades after he first joined the multinational packaged-goods giant, Clift is retiring to “spend more time with his family in Brazil and pursue other creative opportunities,” Unilever rep Anita Larsen said.

During his tenure, Clift helped shepherd global marketing strategies for brand power players like Dove. (The beauty brand’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” for example, was developed under his guidance.)

The announcement follows Unilever’s decision this week to keep its U.S. media planning and buying duties at WPP’s Mindshare after a seven-month review.

The company has yet to announce plans for a replacement or a search for a new CMO.

Globally, Unilever spends $7 billion a year on advertising and promotions, with perhaps $2 billion of that amount supporting paid-media initiatives.