A. G. Lafley
From the outside, Procter & Gamble Co.'s (PG ) Cincinnati headquarters looks unchanged. But on the top floor--the haunt of P&G's top brass for 50 years--there's a major overhaul under way. Wood paneling and an executive cafeteria are making way for a training center that will bring employees from around the world within earshot of CEO Alan G. Lafley. "I have made a lot of symbolic, very physical changes so people understand we are in the business of leading change," says Lafley.
The remodeling says a lot about how Lafley, 55, turned around the consumer-goods giant after taking the top job in 2000. He has refocused P&G on its big brands, including Tide, Pampers, and Crest. More important, he's opening up the insular company. He acquired the hit product, Crest Spinbrush electric toothbrush. The result: P&G is expected to post an 11% increase in operating profits this fiscal year on a 6% rise in sales, to $34 billion. Future gains may be harder since there aren't many one-time cost savings left. But Lafley believes that there's still tremendous growth in the core brands. He has made one thing clear: P&G's stodgy corporate culture is gone for good.
-- Revenues this fiscal year are expected to rise 6%, the biggest gain since 1996
-- Crest regained its perch as No. 1 oral-care brand in the U.S., which it lost to Colgate in 1998