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Many women have assumed VP-level posts with U.S. package-goods companies, but Kathi P. Seifert, group president-global personal care products for Kimberly-Clark Corp., is one of the few to break into a top job heading a business sector globally.

Ms. Seifert, 49, was named in December to lead the team that manages global plans for branding and product positioning, research and development, capacity and capital investment for personal care products, including the Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depends brands, which account for more than a third of the company's sales.

The new assignment is an extension of the duties she was awarded last year as group president-personal care products. Prior to that she was named group president-North American Products in 1995.

Ms. Seifert continues to head the North American unit with profit-loss responsibility for those businesses and oversees the company's U.S. and Canadian consumer sales forces.

"Our role as a strategic leadership team," Ms. Seifert says of her new global duties, "will really be to help accelerate sales and earnings growth, increase speed and efficiency of new products, accelerate learning around the world, and really try to identify best practices and distribute those as fast as possible

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