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The case discusses the five-year long organizational restructuring program undertaken by the leading consumer goods company Unilever It examines in detail the important elements of the restructuring program named the Path to growth strategy The case focuses on the corporate strategy of Unilever and changes brought about with respect to organizational structure brand restructurings the acquisitions operational processes IT and supply chain management practices Finally it discusses the results of the restructuring program and examines the companys future prospects and reasons for the giant to embark on 2005-2010 strategy Problems Appear A couple of years ago it was unimaginable that Unilever would get into any trouble Under the dual chairmanships of the Fitzgerald and Antony Burgmans Unilever had completed what many saw as the final stage in a restructuring that had turned the group from a potpourri of brands into a fully functioning international food and consumer goods company Unilever came up with the path to growth strategy which set bold targets for earning per share of 5 to 6 per annum spread over five years This strategy was loved by financial institutions but is now being blamed for the bind that Unilever is in At its core was slimming down Unilevers portfolio from about 1500 brands to just 400 Again this strategy was f by analysts and investors but caused unforeseen and unpredictable problems Unilever went on a massive shopping spree in the late 1990s and spent about 246bn and took its debt levels to nearly 20bn 29bn Again the deal stored up problems for the future The first signs that the wheels were coming off the Unilever cart emerged about three years ago when the American doctor Robert Atkins invented a low carbohydrate diet that led to millions of people gorging themselves on steak and cheese and started avoiding staples such as bread and pasta Trouble was that they were also avoiding Slim-Fast meal and snack substitutes meaning
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