President Obama said Monday he nominated retired Procter & Gamble Co. chief executive officer Robert McDonald to head the Department of Veterans Affairs as its new secretary.

This story first appeared in the June 30, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


The President is betting on McDonald to turn around the beleaguered agency, whose health system has been charged with serious mismanagement of more than eight million veterans a year.


Last month, the President accepted the resignation of Eric Shinseki, a retired four-star general who had held that position since 2009. Sloan Gibson has been acting VA secretary since that time.


The move to nominate a ceo of a consumer-driven market indicates that customer service will be at the forefront at the agency in the future.


McDonald, 61, is a West Point graduate and served in the Army for five years — achieving the rank of captain in the 82nd Airborne Division — before starting at P&G. He retired from the company in June 2013. McDonald’s appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.