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P&G Chief Lafley Sails Into Shareholder Storm

A.G. Lafley is something of a rock star when it comes to modern CEOs. After taking the reins of Procter & Gamble eight years ago, he has doubled revenues and brought stability to the consumer goods giant. His book on changing the rules of business has been a knock-out bestseller.But today, Lafley must face the music. He must bear the fretting of shareholders at the firm's annual meeting in Cincinnati.
Shareholders, many of them fiercely loyal P&G retirees, are worried that the blue chip stock has become, well, just a stock like any other. They are used to P&G's shares being a steadfast Rock of Gibraltar in any market storm.

Although P&G's shares bounced back nicely yesterday to $63.29/share and are trading somewhat higher so far today, they had taken a 13.2 percent plunge during the recent market meltdown, hitting a 52-week low of $54.92/share on Friday.

So, Lafley will have to reassure his critics.

What's more, P&G is being hit with a "Say on Pay" resolution submitted by the National Legal and Policy Center. With it, Lafley is taking it on the chin.

The resolution from NLPC President Peter Flaherty reads: "Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley is making over $25 million a year. I understand that he can walk away with an additional $80 million. At the same time, his employees and customers are watching their jobs and retirement funds evaporate. It is too bad that the P&G board has not done its job, but it is understandable. Many of the directors are similarly overcompensated."

Management recommends voting against the resolution.

This post first appeared in BNET's The Corner Office blog.

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