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As P&G Moves Operations Overseas, Asia Exec Deb Henretta Succeeds Beauty Chief Gina Drosos

More Business Heads Will Be Based in Faster-Growing Emerging Markets Rather Than Cincinnati HQ

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Procter & Gamble Co. is shaking up global-management ranks and moving leadership of a global business unit overseas from its Cincinnati headquarters for the third time in less than a year. In this latest shift, Deb Henretta, longtime head of the company's Asian operations, becomes group president-global skin care, beauty and personal care.

Deb Henretta
Deb Henretta

Ms. Henretta, 51, long seen as a candidate to someday succeed Chairman-CEO Bob McDonald, 58, will remain in Singapore, where she's now based. As of Aug. 1, she'll succeed current Cincinnati-based P&G beauty chief Gina Drosos, 49, who's retiring from the company, said spokesman Paul Fox, to pursue her interest in heading another business.

The beauty business follows the baby and fabric-care operations, whose headquarters were relocated from Cincinnati to Geneva and Singapore, respectively, earlier this year.

The Singapore move for baby care came with the relocation of Martin Riant, the group president who runs that business, to Asia in March. Like the decision to relocate the beauty business under Ms. Henretta, those geographical shifts are meant to move P&G's leadership closer to where most of its growth is coming from, Mr. Fox said.

On an earnings conference call in August, Mr. McDonald said: "If someone looks back at our company 10 years from now, they'll wonder if the leadership of the company at this time took the right steps to move the center of gravity more toward Asia, more toward Africa, where the babies are being born, where the new households are being formed."

The first of the three relocations of business centers came in January 2012 after Giovani Ciserani, 49, became group president-global fabric care last fall and remained in Geneva, where he'd headed Western European operations for P&G.

Mr. Ciserani succeeded Jorge Mesquita, who became group president-new business creation and innovation earlier this year after going on special assignment last year. Mr. Mesquita is picking up some additional duties in the wake of another P&G management departure, Dan Rajczak, senior VP-snacks and pet care.

Mr. Rajczak, 48, formerly headed P&G's FutureWorks new-business and innovation unit and wants to head an entrepreneurial or startup business, Mr. Fox said. The snacks portion of his former business is set to be sold to Kellogg Co. in a deal expected to close by June, and Mr. Mesquita will take over the pet business in addition to his innovation role.

Ms. Drosos and Mr. Rajczak couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Mesquita's move wasn't related to delays in shipments of Tide Pods, launched in February after a six-month delay, Mr. Fox said. He added that Mr. Mesquita's history of innovation in the fabric and home-care business made him the perfect pick to lead efforts to accelerate innovation broadly across the company. He remains based in Cincinnati.

Mr. Fox also said Ms. Drosos' departure wasn't related to a slowdown in P&G's beauty business, where such competitors as L'Oreal and Unilever have seen sales and share increase recently as P&G's growth and market share have slipped. Ms. Drosos has had a long track record of success in P&G's beauty business, he said, including leading the rapid growth of the Olay brand, but didn't want to move to Singapore for family reasons.

Ms. Drosos will remain with P&G though September for a transition period after Ms. Henretta takes over Aug. 1.

Ms. Henretta's current job will be split upon her move in August. Shannen Stevenson, now president-greater China, will remain in that post and instead report to Vice Chairman-Global Operations Werner Geissler. Hatsunori Kiriyama, 49, now VP-Japan, will become president overseeing the rest of Asia outside China. Mr. Kiriyama is the first Asian-born executive to lead a P&G Asian unit.

While the new post further rounds out Ms. Henretta's resume, it doesn't come with the bump to vice chairman that would have pegged her as a clear choice to succeed Mr. McDonald. She's now one of half a dozen group presidents of similar age and responsibility, and is tackling a beauty business P&G has struggled with under several leaders in recent years after big investments in acquisitions a decade ago. Mr. McDonald acknowledged disappointment in the beauty business' results in an earnings conference call last month.

Current vice chairs Mr. Geissler and Dimitri Panayotopoulos are about Mr. McDonald's age and thus unlikely to succeed him.

Mr. Fox said the headquarters moves don't entail a huge shift of personnel -- only around 20 in each case. He noted that fabric care in the past was based in Brussels under Mr. McDonald and that other P&G business units, such as Braun and prestige beauty, have long been based in Western Europe.

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