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This will be Conny Braam’s last appearance in the Influence 100 in her role at Unilever: in May this year she announced she would be leaving in August after more than three years leading marketing and 33 years in total at the British multinational consumer goods company.
Unilever promoted Braams to chief digital and marketing officer in 2019, filling the gap left by the departure of Keith Weed a year earlier. Last year, Braams dropped ‘marketing’ from her job title and replaced it with ‘commercial’ to reflect the expansion of her role into global sales, as Unilever ushered in a new operating model aimed at breaking down silos and putting day-to-day marketing into the hands of category heads. As she noted in a post earlier this year announcing that Unilever was bringing its marketing and sales teams together: “Media channels have become commerce channels, and vice versa. The convergence of media, entertainment, and commerce is blurring the lines between marketing and sales.”
During her tenure, Braams has had oversight of 400 brands in Unilever’s portfolio, such as Dove, Ben and Jerry’s, Hellman’s, LifeBuoy, and Vaseline, with global responsibility for marketing, digital transformation and customer brand loyalty. She has been an advocate for Unilever’s commitment to purpose-driven marketing and sustainability, including reducing its environmental impact. This seems to be paying off, with market cap growing 18% over the past year.
Her departure comes as Unilever welcomes new chief executive Hein Schumacher, who replaces Alan Jope. On Braams’ time at Unilever, Jope praised her “excellent leadership” and said “she has helped to transform our company into a future-fit, fully digitised organisation.”
Braams joined Unilever in 1990 as a marketing trainee and has held a variety of marketing leadership and general management roles across European and Asian markets. Before her promotion, she was EVP, Unilever Middle Europe, responsible for Unilever’s business in DACH, Nordics, Italy and the Benelux region. She had also served as EVP Benelux and Home Care Europe, and EVP for Asia, Africa and Middle East for the Unilever Food Solutions business.
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