Cameron Heath has been appointed managing director at Unilever New Zealand, as his predecessor Nick Bangs moves to Sydney to take on the role of general manager, Home, Beauty and Personal Care for Unilever Australia and New Zealand.
Heath joins the Unilever New Zealand team after seven years with the global consumer goods company, most recently as general manager Baltics based in Latvia. Prior to that, he spent four years as Unilever’s marketing director Food & Beverages in Prague, during which time he built a passion for brands with purpose such as Hellmans and Lipton. Prior to joining Unilever, Heath spent seven years with Procter and Gamble spanning a number of customer development and category strategy roles, including time working in the New Zealand market.
With 15 years in FMCG, Heath brings extensive marketing and category management experience to the role, as well as a passion for delivering superior product experiences that generate value for people, business and planet.
“I’m thrilled to take the reins of the New Zealand business, which has consistently delivered strong results under the leadership of Nick Bangs,” Heath said.
“Last year marked eight years of consecutive of growth in the New Zealand market, illustrating the strong position that Unilever holds in the market and its continued ability to delight Kiwis across the home.”
Unilever’s commitment to improving the health of the planet and creating a fairer, more diverse, and equitable world aligns with Heath’s personal values.
“As one of the world’s largest producers of consumer goods, we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to do more good for our planet, not just less harm. From climate action and sustainable sourcing through to reducing our packaging and food waste, we’re committed to taking tangible actions which chart the course for a more sustainable future,” Heath said.
“Beyond our environmental footprint, I am also deeply passionate about the role businesses can play in creating a fair, diverse and equitable world – I’m looking forward to better understanding melting pot of cultures that makes up New Zealand and finding opportunities for us to scale change.”
Unilever recently announced it would remove plastic scoops from all its Surf laundry powder products in New Zealand, which will reduce the amount of plastic in circulation by 14.9 million tonnes every year. It also launched a four-day work week at the end of 2020, with results from the trial to be released in mid-2022.
Heath has an acute awareness of the challenges that lie ahead for the consumer goods sector.
“I understand first-hand the pressure retailers and consumers are facing as we deal with supply chain disruption and increased cost of production across the board,” he said. “I am committed to building constructive relationships with our retail partners and consumers to ensure the grocery sector is fair for all.”