P&G CEO steps down amid investor criticism

Procter & Gamble chairman and CEO Bob McDonald has stepped down from his role after pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman, among other critics.

Procter & Gamble chairman and CEO Bob McDonald has stepped down from his role after pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman, among other critics.

The CPG giant has reappointed former chief executive and chairman AG Lafley, who retired in 2009 to allow McDonald to take the helm, effective immediately.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Ackman spoke at the Ira Sohn hedge fund conference and stated that P&G was underperforming and spending too much on marketing.

Ackman, the head of Pershing Square Capital Management, has publically criticized McDonald for months, telling the press that he doesn't think the CEO is a good fit to lead the company.

On Thursday, Ackman told CNBC that he's happy to have Lafley back because “he's one of the greatest CEOs.”

P&G CFO Jon Moeller said on a conference call on Friday that the CEO switch isn't a sign of any negative issues at the company. He added that the corporation will not make any vast changes to its strategy with the appointment of Lafley.

A P&G representative told PRWeek that company executives are not doing interviews at the moment, and he doesn't know when interview opportunities will re-open.

Last May, P&G reorganized its communications function with the departure of global external relations officer Chris Hassall, who worked at the company for nearly three decades.

Marc Pritchard, P&G's global marketing and brand building officer, was appointed the leader of the revamped communications practice, which put brand PR, corporate communications, and consumer relations at the core of the division.

The company also consolidated government relations within legal, and it merged regulatory and technical organizations with other groups in the R&D function.

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