Posted by Abe Sauer on May 28, 2013 11:57 PM
Apple is the mine's canary. That's the takeaway from a recent press conference in China where the head of corporate sustainability for China tech giant Huawei told reporters that, unlike Apple, it will "learn from the issues that Apple has faced in China" and "never let supplier issues tarnish our brand.”
Whether Huawei means to "learn" from Apple or just copy it, the brand that has been singled out for a beating in the last few years over everything from China labor issues to tax avoidance has come under fire for a failure to innovate. But those critics all have tunnel-vision for Apple's electronics products.
What about innovating its "cultural product"? What if buying a iPhone 6 meant buying a better future? That just might be what Apple's aiming for with its latest high-profile hire. (Plus, the one better future we already have with Jackson's addition.) Continue reading...
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 April 8, 2013 07:12 PM
Ron Johnson has been ousted as CEO of JCPenney as the retailer's board of directors voted on Monday to turn to his predecessor to pull the company out of the death spiral (it lost $4.3 billion in sales last year) on Johnson's watch, rather than give the former Target executive and Apple retail head the extra time he wanted to see his radical vision through to fruition.
Mike Ullman, who had been CEO of JCPenney until 2011, before Johnson, is returning to take the helm again at least for the time being, according to a JCPenney press release:
"The Board of Directors of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. today announced that Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III has rejoined the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors. Mr. Ullman is a highly accomplished retail industry executive, who served as CEO of jcpenney until late 2011. He succeeds Ron Johnson, who is stepping down and leaving the Company."
The stock market appreciated the move, which comes on the same day that JCPenney resumed its courtroom clash with Macy's in Manhattan over rights to field the Martha Stewart product lines that Johnson maintained would be crucial to turning around JCPenney's fortunes.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2013 05:43 PM
PepsiCo's CMO, Salman Amin, is leaving the company for S.C. Johnson on a high note, having helped CEO Indra Nooyi deliver over the last year on a number of crucial, marketing-based promises, including something of a turnaround for the company's flagship Pepsi brand, which is still duking it out with Coca-Cola and other beverage giants.
The departure of the company's Global Chief Marketing Officer from PepsiCo's Purchase, NY, HQ to Racine, Wis.-based S.C. Johnson—maker of Pledge, Glade and other household products—was disclosed in an internal memo at PepsiCo, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
Amin's exit opens up a top marketing job at PepsiCo just as the company has been reporting gains in sales and market share for Pepsi, having doubled down on marketing following the company's market share slip in recent years in U.S. sales even behind Diet Coke.
A PepsiCo veteran of more than two decades, Amin became PepsiCo CMO only last May. He was able to leverage a $600 million increase in Pepsi's annual marketing budget and a refocusing of spending on top brands including Pepsi and Gatorade into significant gains. "Salman has made contributions that have touched nearly every market in which we do business," said Zein Abdalla, president of PepsiCo, in the memo, according to Ad Age.
Amin also launched the first-ever global marketing campaign ("Live for Now") for Pepsi and inked pop star Beyonce to a $50 million partnership that included the halftime performance during last month's Super Bowl telecast.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2012 11:59 AM
Vikram Pandit shocked Wall Street (Exhibit A: the Wall Street Journal homepage) when he abruptly resigned as CEO of Citibank Tuesday after clashing with the board and prompted his right hand, COO John Havens, to exit with him. Pandit's corner office won't remain empty for long.
Sliding right in following his ouster was Mike Corbat, who had been running Citi’s international operations of Europe, Middle East and Africa for less than a year and was clearly being groomed for the role. The WSJ calls Corbat, a Citi veteran and its former head of investment banking, the company's "Mr. Fix-It," writing that Pandit often used Corbat as a repairman of sorts, and his history at the bank backs up that notion.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 14, 2012 01:53 PM
Best Buy today released the results of an independent ethics inquiry, confirming that former CEO Brian Dunn, who resigned on April 10th, had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer. The company also named a new chairman of the board in Hatim Tayabji, chairman and CEO of Bytemobile.
According to the company's press release, "When the Audit Committee was first informed of the allegations in mid-March 2012, it hired outside law firm WilmerHale to conduct an independent investigation. In the interest of transparency and accountability, the board made a commitment to publicly release the findings."
The company is also in the midst of closing 50 of its big box U.S. stores this year.Continue reading...