A major Jewish donor will be added to the board of Unilever PLC, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, after the investment company he co-founded recently became its largest shareholder.
According to The Wall Street Journal, billionaire and activist investor Nelson Peltz will be added to Unilever’s board after his investment firm, Trian Fund Management LP, acquired a 1.5% stake in the company for $1.6 billion earlier this year.
Unilever is a London-based consumer-goods company with international brands such as Hellman’s mayonnaise, Dove soap, Axe, Vaseline, Rexona and the ice-cream-maker Ben & Jerry’s, among other brands.
Peltz, who is considered an activist investor, is also a major donor and honorary co-chairman of the board at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an institution that has heavily criticized Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s in the past. It has also pushed for state investment funds to divest from Unilever and placed the company on its 2021 Global Anti-Semitism Top Ten list, which also includes Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hamas.
Unilever has faced a backlash from the pro-Israel community worldwide after Ben & Jerry’s announced last July that it would stop selling ice-cream in Judea and Samaria, and parts of Jerusalem, which it called “occupied Palestinian territory.”
The move drew condemnation from Jewish organizations and politicians with a number of states reviewing and divesting their pension funds from Unilever—Arizona being the first.
Peltz is set to join the board effective July 20 as a non-executive director and member of its compensation committee.
Peltz and Trian are the largest shareholders of the fast-food burger chain Wendy’s and bring experience in turning around struggling companies, including Unilever’s rival, Proctor & Gamble.
Unilever has been underperforming compared to its rivals over the past few years.
It remains unknown whether Peltz plans to address the situation with Ben & Jerry’s during his tenure on the board.
Anne Tarbell, a spokesperson for Trian, told JNS in an email that the company was not going to comment on its Unilever investment. The Simon Wiesenthal Center also did not respond to a similar request.