Posted by Dale Buss on May 27, 2013 12:06 PM
The world will soon see whether the departure of Bob McDonald and return of A.G. Lafley as CEO leads to crisper financial and market-share results for Procter & Gamble. A conservative management culture like P&G's doesn't undergo such a wrenching change lightly, so the appetite for immediate results will be enormous.
But in the meantime—and only for the meantime—two personal brands are ascendant in this sea of change at P&G: Lafley, of course, and activist investor Bill Ackman.
Lafley didn't exactly go quietly into "retirement" when he left P&G in the leadership of his hand-picked successor, McDonald, in 2009. Joining the private equity firm that also wooed Jack Welch post-GE, he's been busy as a business guru.
As the architect of P&G's golden era—doubling sales, quadrupling profits, boosted its market value by $100 million, launching hit products such as Swiffer and Febreze, acquired Gillette and built a global reputation for innovation management during his decade-long tenure at the company's helm—Lafley hasn't exactly been laying low since he left.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 24, 2013 01:01 PM
"During the past year, much attention has been focused on me from several angles, which has been a distraction that is not in our best interests. When we get to a point where too much attention becomes a distraction, it's time to change that dynamic."
That statement to Procter & Gamble employees (as reported by Ad Age) by Bob McDonald was cited as the primary reason he's stepping down from the world's largetst consumer packaged goods company after 33 years and making room for his old boss, A.G. Lafley, to retake the reins.
Here's a look back at the past year for McDonald and P&G, as reported on brandchannel:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 12:10 PM
Procter & Gamble's board is hoping that A.G. Lafley can pull a Steve Jobs and return to the helm of the CPG giant to make vast improvements, quickly.
Lafley is abruptly coming back to the CEO post from which he retired in 2010 after 33 years, this time to replace the soon-to-depart Bob McDonald, according to a P&G press release. Yet there will be enormous pressure on Lafley from the start to demonstrate that such a move—uncharacteristic of the conservative culture at P&G—was justified.
The changing of the guard, which will see McDonald formally exit on June 30 while Lafley returns as Chairman, President and CEO "effective immediately," surprised most P&G investors and employees, especially as the bombshell dropped before the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the U.S. But perhaps it became inevitable when McDonald, after improving the company's financial and market performance for a while last fiscal year, stumbled in late April by reporting weak sales growth, following on a tumultuous year for the company and its embattled leader.
During his four years at the top, P&G had lost a step to rivals such as Unilever in terms of market share and profitability. Despite the fact that McDonald had launched the popular Tide Pods product line, a $10-billion cost-cutting program and had managed to improve P&G's position a bit during the second half of 2012, he couldn't do enough, quickly enough.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 09:25 AM
P&G CEO Bob McDonald retires from troubled tenure as predecessor A.G. Lafley comes back to the company to take the CEO post.
Google faces antitrust probe over dominance in online display ads.
AT&T imposes new wireless fee and adds iPhone to pre-paid GoPhone program.
Apple faces potential setback in e-books case.
Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay scouts into its ranks.
Campbell Soup's parent acquires Plum Organics.
Daimler and Ford strengthen technology ties.
Dodge banks on Fast & Furious 6 tie-in to rev flagging Dart sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2013 04:36 PM
Procter & Gamble remains far from out of the woods in its closely watched effort to goose sales in traditional western markets, bolster its biggest brands, rebuild its innovation mojo—and do all of that at a less expensive level. The company's newest such effort is to overhaul how it measures the impact of its $5 billion-plus annual marketing outlay, especially its digital aspects, in a major new review.
America's largest advertising spender just adopted a new system two years ago for measuring ROI on marketing spending because investors—led by activist shareholder Bill Ackman—had begun pressuring new P&G CEO Bob McDonald to get more efficient in that area. Of course, Ackman and like thinkers began putting pressure on McDonald all over the map in an effort to get him to move more aggressively on a strategy to put P&G's financial returns back to historical peaks and more in line with those of competitors such as Colgate and Reckitt Benckiser.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2013 10:33 AM
Because it's such a huge part of the US and global economies, it's difficult for Procter & Gamble to untether itself from general trends even when that would be expedient. So when consumers worldwide are feeling up, down or iffy—with tentative growth in the US, slowing growth in China and negative "growth" in Europe—P&G executives are bound to feel the same way.
Thus P&G CEO Bob McDonald is having to explain the company's latest quarterly report as a glass half-full, with top-line growth a bit higher than expected, and bottom-line growth a bit lower. The company's huge brand stables in developed economies were mostly a drag, while developing markets give P&G some reasons for near-term optimism—such as Brazil, where it's about to begin shipping Ariel Pods in an effort to turn that country's laundry-detergent market upside down the way Tide Pods have in the United States.
"The market itself is rather choppy," McDonald told investors this week on a conference call. "We're in the midst of a recovery. The market's heading in one direction, but it's choppy."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 01:37 PM
Procter & Gamble is redoubling efforts to tap into the emotions of consumers and the inventiveness of entrepreneurs as CEO Bob McDonald declares that he has brought the company through a rough patch and sees a brighter future.
The company has just launched a new front door for its vaunted open-innovation program, Connect + Develop. The new website aims to speed up and simplify external connections by linking would be innovators directly to top company needs, and P&G business leaders directly to external innovation submissions.
Connect + Develop, which the company describes as, "at the heart of how P&G innovates," has been responsible for a wide variety of game-changing innovations introduced by P&G over the last decade, ranging from Swiffer Dusters to Crest Whitestrips. The aim of the new site is to make the sorts of connections that lead to such innovations "easier and more effective," Laura Becker, general manager of Connect + Develop and of global business development for P&G, said in a press release. Continue reading...