P&G reorganizes units; exec Rob Steele to retire

By Dan Sewell

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 1 2011 10:10 a.m. MST

CINCINNATI — The Procter & Gamble Co. on Tuesday reorganized its business units and announced the departure of a veteran executive.

The world's largest consumer products maker said Robert A. Steele, vice chairman for Global Health and Well-Being, will retire Sept. 1 after 35 years at P&G. Until then, Steele, 55, will serve as vice chairman for health care strategy. His business unit has been split and put in the remaining two global units, continuing a P&G streamlining of operations over the last two years.

P&G's oral care and feminine care businesses, including Crest and Always brands, become part of Beauty and Grooming, under Vice Chairman Ed Shirley. Personal health care, pet care and snacks, whose brands include Vicks, Iams and Pringles, become part of Household Care, under Vice Chairman Dimitri Panayotopoulos. After Steele's departure, P&G will have three remaining vice chair positions, with Werner Geissler as vice chairman for global operations.

Steele's leadership included P&G's $3.1 billion sale of its prescription drug business to Warner Chilcott PLC in 2009 and earlier introduction of the popular Swiffer duster line. Health and Well-Being was the smallest of the three global units by sales, accounting for $14.6 billion of the company's $78.9 billion in revenue last year.

P&G spokesman Paul Fox said Steele is expected to pursue his aspiration to become CEO of a company. Bob McDonald, age 57, is in his second year as P&G CEO.

Among recently opened CEO positions is for Atlanta-based consumer products maker Newell Rubbermaid Inc., which last month announced the planned retirement of CEO Mark Ketchum, a former P&G executive.

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