(Bloomberg) -- Unilever Plc plans to cut thousands of management positions to speed decision-making after activist investor Nelson Peltz built a stake in the consumer-goods giant, people familiar with the matter said. 

The move would eliminate numerous regional and divisional roles that Chief Executive Officer Alan Jope believes have slowed innovation, said the people, who requested anonymity when speaking about corporate matters. The job cuts are likely to number in the low thousands, the people said. The company employs about 150,000 globally. 

A Unilever representative declined to comment.

The news, which could be announced as soon as this week, comes at a crucial juncture for Jope. Unilever last week abandoned its pursuit of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s consumer healthcare business after the drugmaker rejected its overtures and analysts and investors disparaged the move.

Now, billionaire Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has acquired a material stake in Unilever, people familiar with the matter have said. The stock rose 7.3% on Monday amid optimism the hedge fund would push for significant changes.

Jope this month said the company aims to make acquisitions in consumer health and shed underperforming businesses. Analysts have speculated that possible scenarios could involve a sale of ice cream brands or an entire exit from food.

(Adds details on recent events at Unilever)

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