The makers of Tide rinse away the boss: P&G CEO steps down

David Gura May 24, 2013
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The makers of Tide rinse away the boss: P&G CEO steps down

David Gura May 24, 2013
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There has been a management shakeup at Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer products company. After a disappointing first quarter, CEO Bob McDonald says he will leave Procter & Gamble at the end of next month.

The company’s board didn’t waste any time picking a replacement. It plans to bring back A.G. Lafley, McDonald’s predecessor.

Procter & Gamble says this announcement “is not indicative of any kind of bigger problem or financial issue,” but the company is not in great shape. According to Bill Chappell, an analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Procter & Gamble had begun to implement a $10 billion restructuring program.

“They felt the need to really cut out some of the fat, and try to streamline the business,” he says.

Some investors didn’t think the turnaround was fast enough, including hedge fund manager William A. “Bill” Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management, who has a big stake in Procter & Gamble.

Morningstar analyst Erin Lash says he wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion with the board.

“If the current management group couldn’t do it, he thought that there were other managers who could,” she says.

Looking ahead, the former — and now future — Procter & Gamble CEO, A.G. Lafley, has his work cut out for him.

“We’re going to want to see innovation,” B. Riley & Co. analyst Linda Bolton Weiser says. “We’re going to want to see growth.”

Lafley, who turns 66 in a few weeks, also knows he won’t be able to get back to retirement until he picks his successor to lead the company long-term.

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