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    Unilever Taps Kraft Exec to Lead U.S. Ice Cream Business

    ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- Unilever here said yesterday it has chosen John LeBoutillier to lead a newly created U.S. Ice Cream Leadership Team. LeBoutillier will join Unilever on Dec. 1 from Kraft Foods, where he held senior leadership positions in the coffee, crackers, desserts, and beverages businesses.

    ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- Unilever here said yesterday it has chosen John LeBoutillier to lead a newly created U.S. Ice Cream Leadership Team. LeBoutillier will join Unilever on Dec. 1 from Kraft Foods, where he held senior leadership positions in the coffee, crackers, desserts, and beverages businesses.

    Eric Walsh, currently chairman, North American Ice Cream, has decided to retire from the business, effective April 1, 2008, Unilever said. It said under Walsh's leadership, Unilever's North American Ice Cream business grew from $200 million to over $1.5 billion.

    LeBoutillier's most recent role at Kraft was s.v.p. and general manager of the coffee division. Prior to his 15-year stint with Kraft, he spent four years at Ogilvy and Mather.

    LeBoutillier now will chair the newly formed U.S. Ice Cream Leadership Team and will also become a member of Unilever's North American Foods Regional Operations Leadership Team. He will be based in the company's U.S. head office in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

    Unilever announced Oct. 11 the integration of the North American Ice Cream business into its existing U.S. and Canadian operating units. It said the integration is consistent with a move to one operating company per geography, and Unilever's goal to maximize go-to-market opportunities.

    The new U.S. Ice Cream Business Team and the North American Brand Development and Innovation Leadership Teams will be based in Englewood Cliffs once the relocation from Green Bay, Wisc. is complete. As previously announced, the Green Bay office will close at year-end 2008. Some of the company's supply chain resources will be located in Trumbull, Conn.

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