A Famous Brand On A Rocky Road

Would Ben & Jerry's sales soften without Ben and Jerry?

It was a short honeymoon. Just seven months after Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever PLC bought Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. of Vermont for $326 million, the ice cream company's two ex-hippie founders are threatening to quit. On Nov. 20, Unilever named Frenchman Yves Couette, the former head of the company's Mexican ice cream business, as Ben & Jerry's next CEO. Later that day, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield issued a statement saying they support someone else, though they didn't say whom. Sources say it's longtime Ben & Jerry's director Pierre Ferrari. "We have not decided whether or not to remain with the company," the pair said in the statement.

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