May 24 (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co said on Friday the surprise return of A.G. Lafley as chairman and chief executive was not an indication of any bigger problems at the world’s largest consumer products maker.
Lafley replaces Bob McDonald, effective immediately, at P&G, which is in the midst of a major restructuring.
“This change very simply reflects Bob McDonald’s decision to retire and the board’s view that A.G. Lafley was currently the best person to replace Bob and build on the momentum that Bob has initiated and led,” Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said on a very brief conference call for analysts on Friday morning.
The CFO said there would not be any dramatic change in strategy due to the switch in CEOs.
The announcement late Thursday was “not indicative of any kind of bigger problem or financial issue,” he said.
Shares of P&G rose to $81.90 in premarket trading after closing at $78.70 on Thursday, before the decision was announced. P&G, the maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors, did not give a specific reason for McDonald’s departure other than to say that he is retiring. McDonald is 59 and Lafley is 65.
Moeller was the only speaker on the call and he did not take questions from analysts.
He said P&G, which maintained its financial guidance as it made Thursday’s announcement, will continue to focus on maintaining its momentum in developing markets and strengthening its core developed market business, and that the company continues to be “optimistic.”