WSJ: P&G to Regroup Products into 4 Sectors

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Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) plans to elevate four senior executives to each lead a new brand sector, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The move would publicly identify potential candidates to eventually succeed Chief Executive A.G. Lafley, who came out of retirement last week to replace his successor, Robert McDonald. The report cited sources as saying Lafley isn’t expected to stay for more than two or three years, and one of his top priorities is to develop a team of possible successors.

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P&G is working on a reorganization of its brands that will lead to the creation of four groups each headed by a president, the Journal said. Those four individuals will report directly to Lafley.

P&G declined to comment.

According to the report, candidates for those four spots are currently two levels below the CEO. The Journal named as candidates Melanie Healey, group president of North America; David Taylor, group president of global home care; Martin Riant, group president of global baby care; Giovanni Ciserani, group president of global fabric care; and Deborah Henretta, group president of global beauty care.

However, the four sector presidents won’t be the only candidates to replace Lafley as CEO, sources told the newspaper. The report added that the plan to appoint four presidents in charge of new brand sectors was in the works during McDonald’s tenure, and Lafley is supporting it.

P&G currently divides its portfolio of consumer products into two divisions, beauty and grooming, and household care.

The new sectors are expected to reflect synergies between various businesses, such as paper products like Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet paper.

The company said last year it was evaluating its organizational structure, as it looked to improve productivity and allow P&G to respond faster to changing market conditions. At the time, P&G indicated that it would unveil details on the shakeup during the summer.

Shares were down 1.5% at $77.92 in early morning trading Friday.