Ex-P&G CEO McDonald Nominated to Head Veterans Affairs

Experience Running Complex CPG Giant Will Aid Exec in Leading Troubled Department

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Bob McDonald, the former chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble Co., will be nominated tomorrow by President Barack Obama to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, a White House official said.

Bob McDonald
Bob McDonald

Mr. McDonald's experience directing a company with more than 120,000 employees and complex operations worldwide makes him well-suited to take up the challenges faced by the department, said the official, who asked not to be named in discussing a personnel move. McDonald, if confirmed by the Senate, would replace Eric Shinseki, who resigned last month amid a scandal over failures of the agency's medical system.

In a report issued by the White House June 27, the department was portrayed as hobbled by a "corrosive culture." Its medical system, lacking accountability, has been beset by extended waits for appointments and allegations of falsified records to cover up those delays. VA officials often ignore directives from its central office and reject criticism, according to a summary of the report by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors.

Mr. McDonald, 61, retired from P&G in June 2013 after 33 years at the company. He took over as CEO in July 2009 after serving as chief operating officer.

After losing market share to rivals such as Unilever, Mr. McDonald embarked on a turnaround plan in 2012 to cut $10 billion in costs through 2016 and renew focus on the company's leading businesses. During this period, Mr. McDonald also faced pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman, who had bought a stake in the consumer products maker and pushed to replace him.

P&G's stock rose 51% while Mr. McDonald was CEO.

A West Point graduate with five years of active duty in the Army, Mr. McDonald rose to lead P&G's Northeast Asia operations in 1999 after stints in the Philippines and Japan.

In 2001, he became president of the global fabric and home-care business. Three years later, he was made vice chairman for global operations.

McDonald was replaced by his predecessor at P&G, A.G. Lafley, who had started working at the company in 1977.

--Bloomberg News--

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