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Snacks & Candy

New Ben & Jerry’s CEO Looks to Boost Activism

McCarthy's plans for company are to 'double its social impact,' triple its bottom line

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Matthew McCarthy, former vice president of Unilever, has been named CEO of Ben & Jerry’s. The consumer goods veteran succeeds former CEO Jostein Solheim, who led the ice cream brand for nearly a decade.

The new CEO is placing activism at the forefront of Ben & Jerry’s: He plans to “double its social impact”—as well as triple the company’s bottom line and give back to the community—during his tenure.

"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, chairperson of Ben & Jerry’s board of directors. "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.”

McCarthy brings more than 20 years of consumer goods experience to Ben & Jerry’s. He joined Unilever in September 1997 as senior director of deodorants and men’s grooming; in February 2017, he became vice president of foods North America, a role he held until his recent departure. During his time with Unilever, McCarthy implemented the use of cage-free eggs for the Hellmann's brand's mayonnaise, promoted higher welfare standards for chickens and founded the Men's Working Group for Gender Equality. Most recently, he launched Unilever’s organic snacking brand, Growing Roots, which supports urban farming in underserved communities.

Burlington, Vt.-based Ben & Jerry’s, a subsidiary of Rotterdam, Netherlands-based consumer goods company Unilever, makes ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet. Its top flavors include Half Baked, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Chip Brownie. The company supports a variety of social issues, such as racial justice, democracy, GMO labeling, LGBTQ equality and fair trade.

Photo courtesy of PR Newswire. 

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