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The Financial Times reports this morning that Procter & Gamble, having just returned AG Lafley to the president/CEO job after the sudden resignation of his successor, Bob McDonald, now "is planning a management reshuffle that will create four big new jobs for executives expected to be in the running to lead the company" when Lafley leaves again.

According to the story, "Lafley, who chose Mr McDonald as his successor in 2009, will focus on developing a new generation of leaders who will be able to take over the company, said other people familiar with P&G.

"Analysts expect Mr Lafley – who was chief executive from 2000 to 2009 – to be back in the job for between one and three years."
KC's View:
One of the points made in the story is that the board felt that McDonald had not created a succession plan, and if there was enough bench strength at the company to provide a successor, had not groomed executives so that they were ready to take over. Which is exactly what it seemed like when Lafley was asked to return.

BTW ... One of the fears that always exists when these competitions are created is that whoever eventually gets the big chair, the rest of the competitors soon will leave to run other companies. But that fear is not enough to avoid creating clear lines of succession.

Besides, it doesn't always work out. That's what Jack Welch did at GE, but out of that system came guys like Robert Nardelli and Larry Johnston, who did pretty good jobs of screwing up Home Depot and Albertsons once they left GE.

Some people are good within one system, but not elsewhere, and not capable of bringing their preferred system elsewhere.