Procter & Gamble’s shareholders will decide Tuesday if activist investor Nelson Peltz, who owns about $3.5 billion in P&G stock through Trian Fund Management, will get the board seat he’s been vying for.
Peltz started a proxy fight back in July to become the 12th member of P&G’s board. He contends that P&G has underperformed its peers, is bureaucratic and should be organized differently, with three, stand-alone global business units. Trian has maintained that it has no intention of breaking up the company or ousting P&G chief executive officer David Taylor (In 2012 after Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management pushed for change, then-ceo Bob McDonald resigned). Trian is also advocating for P&G to acquire and grow small and midsize brands. In a separate situation, on Monday, Trian’s Ed Garden was named to the board of General Electric.
For its part, P&G has contended Peltz simply isn’t the board member for them. In a question-and-answer webcast in early October, P&G executives said the company has been making progress with its transformation plan, which included the sale of much of its beauty business to Coty Inc. in 2016. “It’s not the right time and he’s not the right person for P&G’s board today,” Taylor said on the webcast. In terms of future board members, P&G would consider people who add category experience and global experience, he said.