Shares of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) rose as much as 4 percent in Friday morning trading after it was announced that the company decided to oust CEO Bob McDonald and replace him with former CEO A.G. Lafley, who will be both chairman and CEO, starting immediately, according to CNN Money reporter Chris Isidore.
Ackman’s View On Procter & Gamble’s Leadership
McDonald has been CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) since Lafley retired. Activist investor Bill Ackman has said for quite some time that the company has been struggling under McDonald’s leadership.
He said he thought the company made the right decision by putting Lafley back in the positions. According to Ackman, Lafley only made one mistake when he was running the company, and that was choosing his successor. By putting Lafley back in office, the company gives him a chance to fix that.
Ackman has said in the past that he believed the company had a “first class” board and that senior management had also begun to believe that McDonald was not the right choice for CEO. He believes that the board will make a better choice this time around.
In addition, he said McDonald spent about 25 percent of his time serving on the boards of other companies, although a spokesperson for Practer & Gamble disputed that and said that the only other company board he served on was that of Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX).
Ackman’s Investment Into Procter & Gamble
Regulatory filings indicate that Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management has approximately 21 percent of its portfolio invested in shares of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG). LionShares indicates that the fund has a 1 percent stake in the company, which puts it among the top 10 biggest institutional shareholders which have invested in the consumer products company.
When Ackman spoke at the Sohn Investment Conference this month, he said he was looking for major cost cutting moves and 5 percent annualized growth at Procter & Gamble. The company’s most recently completed quarter showed 2 percent growth, although it did make some deep cuts which enabled it to increase earnings per share by 5 percent.