Thursday, May 20, 2004

Procter shuffles top team

1st woman vice chairman part of core leadership

By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Procter & Gamble Co. will reorganize into three global business units and shuffle almost a dozen top executives, the next step in chairman and chief executive A.G. Lafley's remake of the Cincinnati-based consumer-products giant.

The moves, announced Wednesday, include the addition of two vice chairmen positions, one filled by the first woman to hold that rank in the company's history.

The reorganization underscores P&G's focus on consumer care products as it streamlines operations from five primary segments to three. It also gives Lafley, 56, a core leadership team that analysts say could include candidates to succeed him should he decide to step back from some duties in the future.

The team includes:

• Susan Arnold, 50, elevated to vice chairman of global beauty care.

• Kerry Clark, 52, a current vice chairman, becomes vice chairman of global health, baby and family care.

• Bruce Byrnes, 56, also a vice chairman, becomes vice chairman of global household care, a new division.

• Bob McDonald, 51, promoted to vice chairman of a new global operations group.

P&G also said five senior executives will retire and eight other executives were reassigned or promoted.

The changes are expected to have no impact on the local work force. However, P&G's roughly 13,000 local employees and thousands of retirees who hold company stock in their retirement plans closely follow Lafley's strategies.

They have been rewarded. Since he took the reins in 2000, Lafley has moved to transform P&G from a maker of soap, diapers and toothpaste into a fast-growing beauty-care company, boosting profits and stock value. P&G recently announced a 2-for-1 stock split. Its shares, which closed Wednesday at $105.48, down 58 cents, have almost doubled in value during Lafley's tenure.


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