A.G. Lafley is P&G’s Chairman of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer.
Lafley previously served as P&G’s President & CEO from 2000 to 2009. During this time, the Company more than doubled sales and grew its portfolio of billion-dollar brands from 10 to 23 with a focus on consumer-driven innovation and consistent, reliable, sustainable growth. The Company’s market capitalization has made P&G among the 10 most valuable companies in the world.
Ironically, A.G. never intended to pursue a career in business. He grew up in Keene, New Hampshire, and graduated from Hamilton College with a plan to become a teacher and basketball coach. He took a break to study history, politics, art, cinema, and drama in Paris, returning to the U.S. in 1969 to enter a Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. Then, his plans changed.
He joined the U.S. Navy in 1970 where he oversaw all the retail and service operations for 10,000 Navy and Marine corps and their families in Japan. It was his first general manager job, and he was hooked.
After the Navy, A.G. graduated from Harvard Business School and joined P&G in 1977. Over the next 15 years, he moved up through the Company’s laundry and cleaning businesses, delivering record results and leading organizations responsible for some of P&G’s biggest innovations, including Liquid Tide and Tide with Bleach, that continue to fuel P&G’s growth yet today.
He went back to Japan in 1994, with responsibility for all of P&G’s operations in Asia. He laid the foundation for a return to growth in Japan and helped build P&G’s business in China from less than $90 million to nearly $1 billion in sales by the time he left Asia. In 1999, he ran P&G’s fast-growing Beauty business, along with the Company’s business in North America—its largest single market.
In 2000, A.G. was elected President and Chief Executive of P&G. In the nine years that followed, annual organic sales grew—on average— 5%, core earnings-per-share grew 12% and free cash flow productivity increased 111%. He retired from P&G in early 2010 and served as a senior advisor at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice until returning to P&G this year.