Ben & Jerry's names Matthew McCarthy CEO
The Unilever veteran is challenging the business to double its social impact.
Ice cream-maker Ben & Jerry's, Burlington, Vt., said it has a new CEO. Matthew McCarthy, a 21-year veteran at Ben & Jerry's parent company, Unilever, assumed the position July 1, 2018.
Ben & Jerry’s said McCarthy has wasted no time challenging the business to "double its social impact," attesting it will also lead to continued performance in the marketplace and meeting Ben & Jerry's triple-bottom-line focus on producing “the world's best ice cream,” earning a fair profit and giving back to the community.
"We are delighted to welcome Matthew, who brings a wealth of commercial experience, along with rock-solid values and a courageous vision for the role businesses can and should play in the world," said Anuradha Mittal, Ben & Jerry's chairman. "We look forward to working with him and to continuing our mission as a social justice company which just happens to make pretty good ice cream."
The veteran marketing executive is not new to values-led business, Ben & Jerry’s said. At Unilever, he increased the social impact of a number of the company's leading brands, including Hellmann's, which has led the industry in using certified cage-free eggs in its mayonnaise. The project was executed three years ahead of plan and earned McCarthy and his team a Corporate Progress Award from the U.S. Humane Society.
McCarthy also committed Unilever's Knorr brand to higher welfare standards for its chickens, the company noted. Most recently, McCarthy and his team created Growing Roots, Unilever's first organic snacking brand with a mission to support urban farming in underserved communities. McCarthy also founded the Men's Working Group for Gender Equality at Unilever.
McCarthy replaces Jostein Solheim, a 25-plus year Unilever veteran who helmed the business for eight years, Ben & Jerry’s said. Solheim helped build and solidify the working relationship between Ben & Jerry's and Unilever, while growing the business and its social impact. Solheim was promoted to executive vice president of Foods and Refreshments at Unilever in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.