Ms. Kotchka, 57, VP-design innovation and strategy, will go on special assignment Aug. 1 until she retires March 31, P&G said in a statement.
Philip Duncan, 43, president of the Europe and Middle East region for Landor and former head of the company's Cincinnati office serving P&G, will become global design officer effective Aug. 1. Like Ms. Kotchka, he will report directly to Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley.
Design is the only remaining functional area that reports directly to Mr. Lafley; others, including Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel, were shifted to report to Chief Operating Officer Bob McDonald last year.
Outside recruit unusual
While it's unusual for promote-from-within P&G to recruit an executive from outside the company at the VP level, design is a function for which the company frequently has recruited above entry level in recent years, as Ms. Kotchka staffed up the internal design department.
"Under Claudia's leadership, in only seven years, we've built world-class design capability at P&G," Mr. Lafley said in a statement. "She has helped integrate design and design thinking into how we innovate and how we operate as a company. Her passion for the power of design has strengthened our brands and our business."
Mr. Lafley called Mr. Duncan "uniquely qualified to continue the quest to build design into the DNA of the company and to deliver delightful brand and product experiences to P&G consumers."
Ms. Kotchka is the second P&G "innovation" executive to announce her retirement in as many weeks. The company last week said Gil Cloyd, 62, will retire Sept. 1, serving on special assignment starting in June. Bruce Brown, 49, currently VP-global hair-care and colorants research and development, will succeed him.