A P&G-Style Makeover Is a Big Ask for Unilever

Activist investor Nelson Peltz has joined the board but hopes for a repeat of his previous successful campaign may be too high

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Unilever has similar problems to those Procter & Gamble faced four years ago, and now has the same activist investor on its board. But times otherwise have moved on.

On Tuesday, Unilever said Trian Partners founder Nelson Peltz will take a seat on the company’s board of directors from July. After months of speculation that the activist had bought shares in Unilever, the company confirmed that his hedge fund owns a 1.5% stake, currently valued at around $1.6 billion. Mr. Peltz will join Unilever’s compensation committee and may want changes to pay incentives. At P&G, he criticized targets that rewarded top executives for sales growth that was below the industry average.

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