Procter & Gamble has filed proxy materials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — and is still trying to keep Nelson Peltz from its board.
The business issued a statement Tuesday highlighting the “cost savings and productivity improvements” it revealed on its earnings call July 27. P&G posted 2 percent organic sales growth for fiscal 2017.
Peltz, the founder partner of P&G shareholder Trian Capital Management LP, is fighting for a seat on P&G’s board. Trian owns about 1 percent of the company’s stock.
“As the company invests for the long term, it will continue to focus on innovation, brand-building and go-to-market execution to win with consumers and deliver for P&G shareholders,” P&G wrote in the statement. “Although Trian has stated that it is similarly long-term oriented, it is apparently focusing on short-term, quarterly metrics. For example, Trian confuses P&G’s reduced digital spend as short-term cost savings when, in fact, it was a strategic choice to avoid fraud and waste in the digital advertising marketplace.” P&G added it cut “ineffective spending” by more than $100 million, and remains a large purchaser of online ads.
In that release, P&G also issued a letter to shareholders detailing its recent financial results, and saying that “why not?” is not enough of a reason to elect Peltz to the board. “’Why not?’ appears to be the extent of Mr. Peltz’s reason for board membership,” P&G chief executive officer David Taylor wrote in the letter. “This is simply not a sufficient standard.” Taylor also noted that Peltz has not offered incremental ideas, and his hiring of former P&G chief financial officer Clayton Daley (who retired a decade ago) as an adviser is leading to his “misunderstanding of P&G.”
For its part, Trian also filed proxy materials, on Monday. “Trian believes strongly in P&G’s potential, but the company is facing challenges that have led to disappointing results over the last decade,” the firm said. It again detailed the weak shareholder returns, market share losses and bureaucracy that Peltz says he intends to address should he get a board seat.
P&G’s shareholder meeting is scheduled for Oct. 10.