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Susan Arnold – Procter and Gamble Co. (PG)


Susan Arnold is a bit of an enigma. Little is written about her personal life anywhere. Her corporate biography shows that she went directly from college at University of Pennsylvania to pursue her MBA at University of Pittsburgh. From there, she promptly joined Procter and Gamble in September of 1980 and has been there ever since. A career in a single company is a rarity these days, but it is more common among the women who break through. Susan was the first woman to achieve the title of President at Procter and Gamble.

Along the way, she managed to have two children, a daughter Sarah, born in 1995 and a son Mark, born in 1992. Of her children she says “Having children made me set priorities, leaders who don’t set priorities can burn out their organizations.” Surely her success was attributable to more than that. A look at the jobs she had along the 28 years at P&G shows she was willing to take lateral moves to enhance the breadth of her knowledge in the company.

For example: In 1981 she became the Assistant Brand Manager for Oxydol. In 1983, instead of trying to move up too quickly, she took another Assistant Brand Management position, this time for Cascade. Susan repeated that pattern later as a Brand Manager, then as an Associate Advertising Manager and again as a Vice President. It clearly gave her the opportunity to understand the different parts of the company.

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In a picture that went with a recent interview published by a notable business magazine, Arnold sat with two aging golden retrievers, and looked very comfortable with her life. She was quoted saying, “I live in the moment. I love what I do. I don’t worry about tomorrow.”

Arnold seems positioned to be next in line at P&G. Only time and circumstances will tell.

Interested in the Company?

Procter and Gamble provides branded consumer products in 180 countries, primarily through mass merchandisers like grocery stores or membership club stores. Procter and Gamble even has an executive dedicated to the Walmart account. Procter and Gamble was founded in 1837 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH. P&G’s products are diverse, including air fresheners, deodorants, baby and childcare items, batteries, body wash and soaps, colognes, commercial products, cosmetics, dish washing, feminine care, hair care, hair color, health care, household cleaners, laundry and fabric care, oral care, paper products, pet nutrition, prescription drugs, prestige fragrances, shaving, skin care, small appliances, snacks and coffee. An example list of familiar products includes: Cover Girl, Braun, Vicks, Downy, Charmin, Tide, and Crest, among many others.

P&G was trading around $64 towards the end of June on average volume of 11.85M, just above its 52 week low of $60.76. P&G’s 52 week high is $75.18. Of the 16 analysts watching the stock, 8 suggest hold, 3 recommend buy and 5 recommend a strong buy.

In Recent News
On June 26, 2008, Procter and Gamble’s CoverGirl Brand announced it would use the women from the USA gymnastics team as “faces” of CoverGirl cosmetics. This is the first time female athletes will be used as CoverGirls. The women chosen, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone, will join such esteemed women as Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah, Rihanna and Cheryl Tiegs. The CoverGirl brand is known for consistently signing models that embody both inner and outer beauty.

On June 4, 2008 P&G filed with the SEC the intent to merge P&G’s coffee business into Smucker’s in an all stock reverse Morris Trust transaction. Commenting on the effects the transaction will have on shareholders, A.G. Lafley, chairman and CEO of P&G, said, “This transaction maximizes the after-tax value of the coffee business for P&G shareholders and minimizes earnings per share dilution.”

In the 10Q filed with the SEC on May 1 2008, P&G noted in their forward looking statements risks associated with Cost Pressures and recent price fluctuations with commodity items, raw materials, labor costs and foreign interest rates. Also noted were concerns regarding global economic conditions, and specifically patent issues with the acquisition of Gillette.

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