Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Cheney's P&G post uncertain




By Sarah Anne Wright
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        While George W. Bush gains a running mate, Procter & Gamble might lose a board member.

        Dick Cheney, the former secretary of defense during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and strategist for Mr. Bush, has been a director of P&G since 1993.

        “We've never had this happen before,” said Linda Ulrey, P&G spokeswoman, in explaining the company is unsure of Mr. Cheney's status. “This is the first time this has occurred for an outside board member.”

        During the Eisenhower administration, P&G chief Neil McElroy left to become the U.S. secretary of defense in 1957.

        “Candidates are not required to resign their board memberships, but it's a good practice,” said Tony Russo, vice president of McNally Temple Associates Inc., a political consulting firm in Sacramento, Calif.

        P&G chairman John Pepper issued a statement wishing Mr. Cheney well in future endeavors and praising his “business wisdom.”

        Mr. Cheney “has been a source of insightful and principled counsel on matters of leadership important to the success of our company,” he said.

        While Mr. Cheney has not announced his resignation from his corporate posts, many candidates for public office typically resign to avoid conflicts of interest. Often, in the case of stock ownership, blind trusts are established to manage the positions.

        P&G board members are paid $55,000 a year, as long as they attend at least 75 percent of board meetings. Nonemployee directors are also granted $20,000 worth of restricted stock each year.

        The most recent P&G proxy, dated July 30, 1999, indicates that Mr. Cheney owns 4,666 shares of P&G stock, in addition to 2,800 shares held in trust for family members with shared voting and investment privileges. He also holds the option to buy 8,000 shares.

        Mr. Cheney serves on the public policy, compensation and audit committees of the executive board.

        Scott McClellan, spokesman for Bush for President, said more information would be announced as it became available.

        “We've only had six hours here,” he said Tuesday.

       



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