When I last spoke to A.G. Lafley back in November, he was raving to me about all the things that his successor, Robert McDonald, had managed to accomplish in his five months as chief executive of Procter & Gamble. So much so, in fact, that I asked him whether he had much to do as chairman of the board these days.
On July 1, A.G. Lafley woke up at 6 a.m., worked out, showered, and headed to the office in downtown Cincinnati, just as he had for nearly a decade. But this was the first morning in more than 3,000 days that he was no longer the chief executive of Procter & Gamble.
There's heavy turnover in the C-suite these days. The latest CEO transition came this week, when Robert McDonald was named the new CEO of $84 billion Procter & Gamble, the successor to nine-year chief A.G. Lafley, who will step down July 1.
When news broke Tuesday that Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley would step down in July, all eyes turned to his successor, COO Bob McDonald. The transition comes at a crucial juncture for P&G, which will rely on McDonald's skills as an operator going forward. But what's less known -- and perhaps equally valuable -- is that the incoming CEO is, like Lafley, an impassioned manager.
When Procter & Gamble global business units president Susan Arnold announced in March that she was leaving P&G, the question resurfaced: Who else could possibly replace A.G. Lafley, the company's longtime CEO?
Procter & Gamble started out 2008 with a bang: It sold off its Folgers brand, put through price increases and moved more aggressively into upscale beauty treatments when it bought hair-care brand Frederic Fekkai. <P>But as the economy ran out of steam, so did P&G. After a profitable fiscal year that ended in June, the company cut estimates as quarterly sales dropped. P&G is now heavily promoting value, but CEO A.G. Lafley says he's holding the fort on those price hikes. Will they stick? - <I>J.R.</I>
In this adaptation from their forthcoming book, The Game-Changer, A.G. Lafley and management consultant Ram Charan describe the principles of innovation and give a grass-roots example of how listening to the bosses in this instance, Mexican housewives - can pay off.
One of the great frustrations encountered by today's most powerful people is that the power they've worked so hard to amass may just stop working. It isn't that they could lose what they have - it's that it simply may no longer matter to the world.
The Greenbrier resort in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, with three golf courses and a spa the size of a football stadium, is a long way from China's factory floors. But in early June, the 229-year-old Georgian-style estate hosted a retreat for dozens of CEOs and other executives from U.S. consumer product companies. And Chinese manufacturing was on their minds.
When Mark Ketchum joined the board of struggling consumer products maker Newell Rubbermaid at the end of 2004, he had no idea what he was in for. A 33-year veteran of Procter & Gamble, where he headed mega-brands like Pampers, Ketchum, 57, was asked to serve as interim CEO after the board finally lost its patience with underperforming former chief Joe Galli in October 2005.
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it." The man who coined this aphorism, Warren Buffett, knows a thing or two about great reputations: His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has long been a fixture on our list of America's Most Admired Companies.
Procter & Gamble Co. reported Monday that its earnings soared 44 percent in its fourth fiscal quarter with growth in its beauty and health care businesses pushing its full-year sales past $50 billion for the first time.