UK & Ireland announces changes in customer development

UK & Ireland announce changes in Customer Development.


Tony Smith, Unilever UK & Ireland VP Customer Development, will retire later this year after 28 years with the business. He will be succeeded by James Simmons, currently Unilever UK & Ireland Customer Director for Tesco. James will report to Dave Lewis, EVP Unilever UK & Ireland. Tony and James will now have a handover period, which will be completed by mid year.

James will be succeeded by Steve Hermiston, currently Retail Sales & Marketing Director at Tate & Lyle.

Dave Lewis said, "Tony has worked in the UK grocery market for over 35 years, 28 of which have been with Unilever. His contribution over that time has been immense and his contribution to our successful transition to one Unilever in particular, without equal.

It is with personal sadness that we have agreed to let him retire. However, in James Simmons, I'm delighted to say that we have someone who has a great track record, done a great job as HPC Customer Director and with Tesco across the whole Unilever portfolio.He has a wealth of experience in customer development more broadly, has also been working closely with Tony for the past couple of years and now has a handover period in which to prepare for the challenges to come."

Steven Hermiston will join Unilever on 5th May and will report to James Simmons. Prior to his current role at Tate & Lyle, Steve was Asda Business Unit Head at Unilever Ice Cream & Frozen Food.

James Simmons

James joined Unilever in 1998and has held a variety of customer development and marketing roles, until he was appointed Unilever Frozen Food and Ice Cream UK Trading Director in 2002. He became Customer Director for Unilever Home & Personal Care UK in 2006 and, with the creation of one Unilever business in the UK and Ireland in 2007, James was appointed as the Customer Director for Tesco.

Steven Hermiston

Steve began his career at Nestlé in 1997 on their graduate training scheme where he worked on supply chain and customer development disciplines, before moving to what was then Birdseye Wall's, Unilever's frozen food and ice cream business in the UK. There, he held a variety of category management and customer development posts culminating in Asda business unit head for Unilever. He left Unilever during the Birds Eye disposal to join Tate & Lyle to become Retail Sales and Marketing Director in 2007.

UK & Ireland Corporate press enquiries

For Unilever UK & Ireland corporate press enquiries, please contact the UK press office on the number or email below:

T: UK +44 (0)01372 945925
F: UK +44 07785 450287

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