Unilever Philippines Names New Chairman
Plans Further Expansion in the Country
Unilever Philippines has named Benjie Yap as its new Chairman, the first homegrown talent to hold the position in over 30 years.
Yap brings to the position a wealth of experience within Unilever Philippines, having most recently served as Vice-President of Customer Development. Prior to this, he served as Vice-President of Home Care and Foods. Outside of the Philippines, Yap was a Product Development Manager in Port Sunlight UK 1999 and Vice-President for Home Care in Unilever Thailand in 2009.
Yap joined Unilever as a Technical Management Trainee in 1994, with initial stints in Manufacturing, Engineering, R&D, and Packaging Development. He eventually shifted career tracks and joined Marketing as Marketing Director of Home Care in 2001. Yap later joined Unilever Philippines’ National Board of Directors as the Food Managing Director at the age of 32, 11 years after joining the company.
He has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the CEO Excel Award in 2007 and the Outstanding Achievement Award in Marketing Management from Agora in 2015, as well as being named one of the top alumni of De La Salle University in 2010.
“I am deeply honored to be named Chairman of Unilever Philippines. Having been with Unilever throughout my professional career, I have witnessed how the company has grown and has uplifted the lives of many Filipinos. Being appointed as Chairman at a time when the private sector is called to help address societal concerns, I am inspired by the work that we have begun and are continuing—creating real solutions in areas such as nutrition, livelihood, water, sanitation, and the environment. We take a long view of how we provide for the needs of Filipino families, offering products for their daily use and helping them in challenges they face,” Yap stated.
He added, “At Unilever Philippines, we place a premium on sustainability. This is not just reflected in the Sustainable Living programs that we are implementing to address major social concerns. We are also committed to sustainable agriculture and sustainable manufacturing practices. Moreover, we are looking at strategic investments in the Philippines to better serve Filipino families.” The occasion also marks the inauguration of Unilever Philippines’ head office in Taguig City. Located in the Bonifacio Corporate Center at Stopover, Unilever Philippines’ LEED-certified offices are also aligned with the company’s focus on sustainability. The new office marks Unilever’s continued investment in the Philippines, not just to further grow the market, but to nurture young Filipino talent as well.
Investments in the Philippines
Unilever’s new head office in Taguig City is just one among the big-ticket investments of the company, which also include the mega distribution center in Cabuyao, Laguna, its largest distribution center in the Philippines, and the world-class Unilever Cavite Foods Factory, which has Halal capability to address the needs of Muslims in the country.
The mega distribution center spans 13.7 hectares and is expected to facilitate distribution and transport of Unilever’s products manufactured in its Cavite and Paco, Manila sites. Its location is also ideal for vessels going to Visayas and Mindanao via the Batangas ports. In addition to all these, the mega distribution center has future-ready capabilities to ensure efficient and sustainable operations. The mega distribution center’s design and technology will use materials intended to reduce environmental impact.
Constructing the mega distribution center allows Unilever Philippines to enhance delivery of goods throughout the country and create a ripple effect of benefits to communities.
Accessible to the mega distribution center is Unilever Cavite Foods Factory, which adheres to world-class manufacturing services and on which Unilever is investing a total of Php1.7 billion. The factory is also expected to serve as the Halal Hub for South East Asia and Australia. To date, the Philippines has yet to realize the potential of the Halal market, which can be a driver for sustained socio-economic growth.
The LEED-certified Unilever Cavite Foods Factory is utilizing renewable energy resources for its power requirements.
“Unilever Philippines is committed to the Filipino people. Not only are we optimistic about prospects for growth, but we are also constantly on the lookout for emerging opportunities to better serve the market,” Yap shared.