Skincare Chief Pushing P&G Forward

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Susan Arnold became the first woman to reach a president-level post at Procter & Gamble Co. last July when she became president-global skincare.

Ms. Arnold, 46, now stands two steps away from CEO on the P&G organizational chart. She was hand-picked to become a key member of a global beauty care management team assembled last year by A.G. Lafley, president-global beauty care and North America. Mr. Lafley is widely considered to be the front-runner to one day succeed Chairman-CEO Durk Jager.

Previously, as VP-general manager laundry care for North America, Ms. Arnold was in charge of P&G's flagship Tide brand and the company's core U.S. laundry business. P&G's skincare business, unlike the laundry category where P&G dominates, has been consistently losing share. Reversing those fortunes could help Ms. Arnold break more glass ceilings.

One former colleague describes her as a strong strategic thinker who can be very personable but also impatient to get to the point.

Patience, however, is no virtue at P&G these days, as Mr. Jager spurs the sluggish behemoth toward speed.

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