SPEAKING OUT: Activist investor William Ackman publicly aired his grievances with Procter & Gamble Co. on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday morning, saying, “There’s not a culture of efficiency.…This is a very fat and bloated company. And when your competitors are more nimble and can make faster decisions and have better cost structures, it allows them to reinvest in growth in a way that this company has not been able to in several years.”
Ackman and his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, seem to have the board’s ear. He said, “We were received very seriously by the board and had a great meeting with the lead director Ken Chenault and Bob McDonald [P&G’s chairman, president and chief executive officer].
This story first appeared in the October 3, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I think Bob McDonald is very focused on succeeding and keeping his job…and that’s a good dynamic. I think the board wants to give him a little bit more time to see if he can make some more progress.” Ackman doesn’t seem quite as patient. He said, “P&G is one of the great companies. It’s been a growth company for 175 years. It’s frankly stumbled in the last several years under the current ceo’s leadership.”