Business Case Studies, Managing in Troubled Times Case Study, Troubled Times, at Unilever

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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Troubled Times at Unilever

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: Rajender Singh, Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: Home Appliances and Personal Care Products

Region:UK The Netherlands

Case Code: TRT0019

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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After the failure of the five-year 'Path to Growth' programme that aimed at 5% to 6% annual growth, Unilever's pre-tax profit declined from £4.5 billion in 2003 to £2.8 billion in 2004. The loss of £255 million in the fourth quarter of 2004 was the company's first quarterly loss since 2000. This led to the abandonment of its 75-year old dual chairmen structure and paved the way for unification of the bi-national company.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the challenges faced by Unilever to retain its market share.

Keywords : Unilever; Troubled times; Personal care products; Path to growth strategy; Consumer goods industry; Pricing power; Bureaucracy; Twin board structure; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Management team; Performance targets; Procter and Gamble (P&G); Slim Fast; Restructuring; Cost cutting; Supermarket chains


  • Challenges of the consumer goods giant
  • What lies ahead
  • Pathtogrowth’ Strategy

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