Exclusive: P&G eyes alumni, unit heads as candidates for CEO job

Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:37pm EST
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By Nadia Damouni, Olivia Oran and Phil Wahba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N: Quote) is considering current and former executives of the world's largest household products maker as it begins the search for candidates to succeed Chairman and Chief Executive A.G. Lafley, according to sources familiar with the situation.

P&G veterans being considered as part of the succession planning process include Fabrizio Freda, who spent two decades at the company before becoming CEO of Estee Lauder Cos Inc (EL.N: Quote); and Susan Arnold, former president of global business units who is now an operating partner at private equity firm Carlyle Group LP (CG.O: Quote).

Lafley is also closely watching the performance of some of his other direct reports for their potential to succeed him, the sources said.

These executives include Melanie Healey, group president of North America; David Taylor, group president of global home care; and Deborah Henretta, group president of global beauty care; Martin Riant, the group president of global baby care; and Giovanni Ciserani, the group president of global fabric care.

P&G declined on Thursday to comment or to make executives available for interviews.

No formal search process is currently under way, and the sources said Lafley could stay on for some time to come.

Lafley, 66, was previously P&G's CEO from 2000 to 2009, but came out of retirement after his successor, Bob McDonald, was abruptly replaced last year amid pressure from investors who worried about its growth prospects and lagging share price.

Since taking the helm, Lafley has conducted a "deep dive" to figure out what needs fixing. He re-organized P&G into four businesses to boost efficiency. Last year, he said the fiscal 2014 year would be a transition year, with fiscal 2013 a "stepping stone."   Continued...

Former Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Procter & Gamble A.G. Lafley speaks during the World Business Forum in New York October 6, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton