Ms. Henretta, 45, who became president of P&G's Southeast Asia business, including India and Australia less than two years ago, will assume her new duties overseeing all of Asia on July 1.
Leapfrogs two peers
The move elevates her above two other executives who had been her peers among the fastest rising in the 40-something age bracket -- Ravi Chaturvedi, 47, president-Northeast Asia, and Daniela Riccardi, 45, president-Greater China. Now, they'll both report to Ms. Henretta, who will continue to report to Robert McDonald, 53, vice chairman-global operations.
Mr. McDonald, along with Vice Chairman Health and Beauty Susan Arnold, also 53, are considered the top contenders to succeed Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley, 59. Ms. Henretta now rises to the top of a fairly elite club of candidates to succeed one of them -- and later could even assume the chairman-CEO post herself.
Along with Mr. McDonald and Ms. Arnold, Ms. Henretta is part of an inner circle of executives who rose up the ranks with Mr. Lafley in P&G's laundry and cleaning products business in the 1980s and '90s.
Led Pampers resurgence
As president-global baby care from 2000 to 2005, Ms. Henretta led a resurgence of P&G's Pampers brand, which reversed years of share losses in the U.S. on her watch and expanded more broadly into developing markets.
She's the second-youngest P&G executive to reach group-president level, following the appointment of Christopher De Lapuente, 44, as group president—global professional and retail hair care.
Other P&G group presidents are in or near their 50s, including Werner Geissler, 53, group president-Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa; Rob Steele, 51, group president-global household care; Ed Shirley, 50, group president-North America; and Chip Bergh, 49, group president-global grooming.