Cincinnati-based consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) has elected A.G. Lafley, 54, currently president and CEO, chairman of the board effective 1 July, in addition to his current responsibilities. 

This is in anticipation of the retirement of Company Chairman John E. Pepper on 1 July,  after 38 years of service. Pepper will remain a director of the company and will continue as chairman of the board's executive committee for an additional year.

In related actions, the board elected the following to new positions effective immediately:

Bruce L. Byrnes, 54, was elected vice chairman of the board and a director of the company in addition to his current responsibilities as president-global beauty care and global health care.

R. Kerry Clark, 49, was elected vice chairman of the board and a director of the company in addition to his current responsibilities as president-global market development and business operations.

As chairman and CEO, Lafley will have overall responsibility for the company's business performance, direction and operations. The vice chairmen will take on various external duties currently held by Pepper and Lafley, in addition to their current business responsibilities, to help share these senior leadership responsibilities.

Commenting on A.G. Lafley, chairman John E. Pepper said, "A.G. has emerged rapidly as an extraordinarily strong CEO who is truly in touch with our consumers, customers and employees. He has put the company back on track to deliver its long-term goals, and he has a clear vision for future growth. I have no doubt that he will be an outstanding chairman, CEO and president."

Lafley commented: "I am honored to take on the chairman's responsibilities for this company. John Pepper's support has been invaluable to me over the past two years. John is a close friend and mentor, and an extraordinary leader who deeply loves this company. He demonstrated this nearly two years ago when he returned as chairman to support me and help get our business moving again. We will miss his day-to-day involvement in the business, and are fortunate to have him continuing in a key role on our board as chairman of the executive committee for one more year."

Talking about the vice chairman roles, Lafley continued, "The demands of the  chairman's  office  are  substantial  and  we'll benefit from a team of top leaders to share these responsibilities, as we have at various times in P&G's past. Kerry and Bruce are outstanding business leaders with proven track records. They will help me manage the broad range of external challenges that a global business like P&G faces today."