Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble has announced a reorganisation of its business units effective from 1 July 2004. The new units are: global beauty care; global health, baby and family care; and global household care.
The promotion of a number of executives was also announced at the same time, as was the retirement over the next six to 12 months of a number of senior executives.
The company has also created two new vice chairmen although the positions do not hold a place on the board. The two news chairs, Susan Arnold and Robert McDonald, both of whom are aged 50, joined Procter & Gamble in 1980.
Arnold, who is currently president of global personal beauty care and global feminine care, will become vice chair for global beauty care. McDonald, president of global fabric & home care, will become vice chairman of global operations.
Procter & Gamble spokesperson Linda Ulrey told the Cincinnati Post that the naming of vice chairs was not "directly related" to the company's succession plan. She said the company's board has a succession plan in place but declined to disclose who is next in line.
The current chief executive is A G Lafley, 56, who has not announced any plans to retire. He was promoted in 2000 to direct the company's recovery from a slump.
Ulrey told the Cincinnati Post that the reshuffle was meant to simplify the chain of command. Under the new structure, the global business units do roughly US$15 billion (€12.5 bn) in annual sales apiece.
The changes also reflect an increasing focus on health and beauty products for Procter & Gamble, which has divested itself of a number of food-related products and operations over the past decade.
Procter & Gamble said that the changes affect organisational alignment only and would not result in any special charges.
The latest annual results for Procter & Gamble showed that the company's earnings grew nearly 20 per cent to more than US$5 billion (€4.3 bn) on sales of around US$43 billion (€36 bn).