P&G Confirms Meeting With Ackman

Procter & Gamble Co. met with activist investor Bill Ackman this month and said it supports Chief Executive Officer Bob McDonald and his plan to turn around the world’s biggest consumer-products maker.

The company met with Ackman on Sept. 4, Jennifer Chelune, a P&G spokeswoman, said today in a telephone interview. Ackman is seeking to replace McDonald and separate the chairman and CEO roles, a person familiar with the matter said.

McDonald has been under pressure from Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management LP took a $1.8 billion stake in P&G in July. The CEO is working to cut $10 billion in costs by 2016 and reverse market-share declines in such key categories as U.S. detergents.

Lead director Jim McNerney said today in a statement forwarded by Chelune that he and the rest of the board support the company’s restructuring plan, “which appears to be off to a good start.” The directors will monitor the plan to ensure it is working, he said.

“The board also wholeheartedly supports Bob McDonald as he leads its implementation,” McNerney said.

Ackman presented McDonald with a 75-page list of complaints about his performance and sought to convince McNerney and Kenneth Chenault, the American Express Co. CEO who also serves on P&G’s board, to replace him, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today. Jennifer Burner, a Pershing Square spokeswoman who works for Global Strategy Group, said the company had no immediate comment.

Chelune declined to comment on details of the meeting.

P&G was unchanged at $69.30 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 3.9 percent this year.

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