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Lafley returns as P&G's CEO; McDonald to retire
May 24th, 2013
CINCINNATI – A.G. Lafley has rejoined Procter & Gamble Co. as president and chief executive officer, taking over those posts from Robert McDonald, who is retiring.
P&G announced the move late Thursday and said it's effective immediately. Lafley has also been elected to P&G's board and will serve as chairman.
Plans call for McDonald to retire on June 30 after 33 years of service at P&G, the nation's largest consumer products company.
"It has been a privilege to work with the people of Procter & Gamble to serve consumers around the world. I'm proud of what we have accomplished together, and I am confident in the company's future," McDonald said in a statement. He joined P&G in 1980.
The executive change marks a reversal of P&G's previous CEO succession. McDonald had succeeded Lafley as P&G's CEO in July 2009 and then was announced as its chairman in December 2009, taking over from Lafley, who retired from the company early the next year.
"We thank Bob for his service and note the company's improving business performance," Jim McNerney, presiding director of P&G's board, said in a statement. Under his leadership, the company expanded its business in developing markets, built a strong innovation pipeline and has made substantial progress implementing a $10 billion cost savings and productivity program."
Lafley joined P&G in 1977 and served as the company's president and CEO from 2000 to 2009.
"I wish Bob well and thank him for his service to P&G," Lafley stated. "I am looking forward to working with P&G's outstanding leadership team to continue to improve the company's performance. I am confident that we will deliver strong innovation, productivity and growth to win with consumers, customers and shareholders."
P&G on Thursday confirmed its fiscal year and fourth quarter earnings guidance.
"A.G.'s track record and his depth of experience at P&G make him uniquely qualified to lead the company forward at this important time," McNerney commented. "The board expects A.G. to further improve results, implement the current productivity plan, and facilitate an ongoing succession process. The board is confident that he will continue improving P&G's performance."
In his 32-year career at P&G, Lafley served in various leadership roles, including nine years as president and CEO. Originally brought on in P&G's marketing division in 1977, he held numerous senior management positions before being named group vice president in 1992, an executive vice president in 1995 and president of global beauty care and North America in 1999. He served as CEO from 2000 to 2009 and as chairman from 2002 to 2009.
In April 2010, Lafley joined private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which has headquarters in London and New York, as a special partner.
Recently, P&G has been paring costs and introducing new products to foster growth. Last year, it enacted a strategy to focus on its biggest products and best-performing emerging markets.
Yet investors have expressed impatience with the rate of sales growth and global market share growth. P&G has seen growth decelerate in developed markets such as North America and Europe and has faced stiff competition from rivals like Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive in fast-growing emerging markets.
P&G chief financial officer Jon Moeller said in a conference call with analysts Friday morning that the change essentially came about because McDonald decided to retire and P&G's board saw Lafley as the best replacement, according to an Associated Press report. Moeller told analysts that P&G doesn't expect to make any drastic strategy shifts with the CEO change.