P&G's A.G. Lafley Honored
After the closing bell on July 12, more than 200 of America's business leaders and their guests filled the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to honor the 2006 Chief Executive of the Year, A.C. Lafley. In assuming the title, Lafley joined a list notable for including luminaries such as Jack Welch, Andy Grove, Herb Kelleher, Michael Dell and Bill Gates.
The 29-year P&G veteran was an "easy choice" for Chief Executive magazine's selection panel, outgoing CEO of the Year George David, chairman and CEO of United Technologies, told the crowd. "A.G. Lafley is known for productivity, operating income, performance and most of all for P&G's commitments to the highest standards of corporate governance and environmental stewardship," said David. "Total shareholder return at P&G since he became CEO in 2000 is 60 percent-decisively over the Dow Industrial average of 16 percent for that time period-at a time of flatter markets for large cap companies in America."
And shareholder return is just one measure of the revitalization engineered by Lafley at the 169-year old institution's helm. Steering a strategy of cost-cutting coupled with product innovations, he reenergized core brands -including Pampers, Tide and Crest-plagued by flattened volumes and shrinking profit margins. Leading acquisitions of Clairol in 2001, Wella in 2003 and Gillette in 2005, he further strengthened the company's product portfolio, bringing operating margins to an impressive 19. …