Unilever has named Philip de Klerk as vice president, finance of its operations in the Benelux.

De Klerk takes the role after Stephanie Schmitz, who was originally chosen for the job, turned down the position due to “personal reasons”, a Unilever spokesman told just-food.

De Klerk has spent 16 years at Unilever and moves from a similar role at the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate’s Swiss unit.

In July last year, Unilever merged its operations in Belgium and the Netherlands in a bid to boost the company’s competitiveness and keep a lid on costs in both markets.

The new entity, Unilever Benelux, continued with an office in both countries – one in Brussels and the other in Rotterdam.