P&G Chief Lafley to Succeed Chairman Pepper

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Apr 11, 2002
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Procter & Gamble Co. Chairman John Pepper plans to retire July 1 and pass the title to A.G. Lafley, the company’s chief executive and president, reports the Wall Street Journal. Pepper returned from retirement almost two years ago to restore order during a cost cutting and a global management overhaul.

The consumer-products maker also created two vice-chairman positions, saying the combined responsibilities are too much for Mr. Lafley to handle alone. The designated vice chairmen, Bruce Byrnes, president of global beauty care and global health care, and R. Kerry Clark, president of global market development and business operations, will help with such matters as relations with overseas governments and global health-care organizations.

Mr. Lafley, Mr. Pepper and the board plan an orderly transfer timed to the end of P&G’s fiscal year on June 30. “We didn’t want to do it until we believed P&G’s business was really coming back,” Mr. Lafley explains.

Moderator Comment: What are the challenges and opportunities
that face A.G. Lafley and Procter & Gamble as the CPG giant moves forward?

A.G. Lafley has received high marks from both inside
and outside of P&G for righting the ship. We don’t expect to see John Pepper
do a Billy Martin and return to the top spot for a third time.

Mr. Lafley and Pepper are said to be members of a mutual
admiration society.

Of Pepper, Mr. Lafley has said, “John and I have been
joined at the hip the last couple of years. He’s been a mentor for me.”

Mr. Pepper has responded that under Mr. Lafley’s leadership,
P&G’s top guns have performed “better than I have ever seen a top management
team work together.” [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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