Unilever Nurtures Creativity in Structured Environment

Geoffrey Precourt

Kathy O'Brien

Kathy O'Brien, vice president, Personal Care, Unilever
(photo: AAAA conferences)

Once upon a decade or two ago, annual retreats for organizations like the American Association of Advertising Agencies (recently rebranded as the 4A's) often were boy's-clubs getaways. And one session from the 2010 Transformation conference in San Francisco sounded like a soundtrack from the '60s.

In the course of introducing Kathy O'Brien, Unilever vp/personal care, Wenda Harris Millard, President, MediaLink LLC, observed, "When some people change job, they don't just switch offices. The move from one planet to another - from Venus to Mars." By taking on Dove's new Men+Care as well as its manly robust AXE brands, she continued, "Kathy O'Brien has moved from the iconic Real Beauty to cleaning your balls. But she's made the transition as a communications thought leader - smart, fearless, and forward looking."