Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has announced that Michael Polk has been named group vice president, Unilever United States, reporting directly to John Rice, Unilever president, Americas.

The company also said Alan Jope has been appointed group vice president, global spreads, cooking products and dressings, foods category, reporting directly to Vindi Banga, Unilever president, global foods category.

Prior to this, Polk and Jope co-led Unilever's US business as group vice president, foods, US, and group vice president, home and personal care, US, respectively. Both will be immediately transitioning to their new positions, which are effective 1 January 2006.
 
"Over the past six months we've been organising to win in the US by combining our foods and home and personal care businesses. Mike's appointment marks our commitment to building a single US powerhouse that fully leverages our scale and growth potential in the region. With key management positions, business operations and functions in place, the timing is right for us to announce a single leader for our US business," said Rice.

Prior to joining Unilever in July 2003, Polk spent 16 years at Kraft Foods with his last position as group vice president, Kraft Foods North America and president of the biscuits, snacks and confections segment. Jope joined Unilever in 1985.