The announcement that the long serving and highly respected A.G. Lafley would retake the top job at Procter & Gamble reassured investors. But at age 65, he’s something of a stopgap, not expected to stay for more then a few years to steady the ship and find a successor.
Now the real race for the top seat at one of America’s oldest and most venerable companies begins.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company plans to make a big shift, organising its huge range of brands and products into four sectors, with presidents that report directly to Lafley.
When those presidents are announced, we’ll know the main candidates for the job. And they’ll have just a couple of years to prove themselves to Lafley and an all-star board that includes Boeing CEO James McNerney, Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman, Macy’s Terry Lundgren, and Amex CEO Kenneth Chenault. Warren Buffett and activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who both have large stakes in the company, will have eyes on the proceedings as well.
The four presidents won’t be the only contenders, and the plan to reorganize was already in the works under the recently-ousted Bob McDonald, but it takes on added significance now.
The Journal cites “people familiar with the matter” to name Melanie Healey, group president of North America, Martin Riant, who runs global baby care, Giovanni Ciserani, the head of global fabric care, and Deborah Henretta, the president of global beauty care as possible contenders.
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