Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2012 05:12 PM
P&G CEO Bob McDonald has plenty of challenges in the present and for the future. He doesn't need a blast from the past to cause problems too.
But the Wall Street Journal revealed today that a retired top executive of the Cincinnati-based CPG giant recently sent McDonald a 13-page letter outlining his concerns about the direction of the company left in 2001 by the former president of P&G family care.
Martin said he was concerned about the value of his holdings in P&G and, specifically, about slipping innovation, sales, market share and stock price. He maintained that many current and former executives supported his concerns. McDonald, according to WSJ, met with Martin some time ago after receiving the letter.
P&G didn't comment to brandchannel about the letter on Tuesday. But it isn't as if McDonald is unaware of any grumbling. Already under pressure for the concerns that Martin shared, and dealing with the plaints of activist hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman based on his $1.8-billion stake in P&G, McDonald has been responding. For example, he laid out a new plan recently to focus on the 40 product-market combinations that account for the bulk of P&G's profits and has been trimming costs.
In July, P&G's board were reportedly close to naming a new CEO — but then in August, P&G reported better-than-expected profits and indicated that it would buy back more stock in the current fiscal year. Earlier this month, P&G's board reiterated its confidence in and support for McDonald at the company's annual meeting.
So did A.G. Lafley, the former P&G CEO who handpicked McDonald as his successor. "Any time the results aren't what some expect," Lafley told the Journal, "there are going to be questions." And no doubt Martin still has them.