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CEO Interview: Bob McDonald of Procter & Gamble

Looking for Laissez-Faire Bob McDonaldChairman, President and CEO, Procter & Gamble Government intervention is the biggest issue we worry about, …

Looking for Laissez-Faire

Bob McDonald
Chairman, President and CEO, Procter & Gamble

Government intervention is the biggest issue we worry about, from incremental international tax rates to protectionist trade policies to increasing regulation—intervention that actually stalls economic growth or pushes us back into a decline. I know we’ll grow market share because we’ve got the strongest innovation program we’ve had in my 30-year career, but I’m not sure global markets will grow as much.

The U.S. has the second-highest corporate tax rate in world, and the first—Japan—is lowering theirs. You have to wonder what’s going on in countries that are thinking about increasing these rates. For innovation to occur, companies that create innovation need to be able to thrive. And in this highly regulated environment, with taxes potentially going up, we’re not in that situation.

Remember, you’ve got what potentially could be the largest tax increase in some time coming in January if nothing is done. Can you imagine what would have happened in terms of economic growth if federal taxes would have been cut 18 months ago, instead of [passage of] the stimulus?

Next year, the markets we participate in will grow by three to four percent, and we’ll grow our share by one to two percent above that. We will have a better profit picture than this year, partly because of the investments we made this year. But it sure would help if we had some tailwinds in terms of overall market growth and more certainty from governments around the world.

Procter & Gamble, headquartered in Cincinnati, is a $79 billion concern and the world’s largest consumer packagedgoodscompany.

About Dale Buss

Dale Buss
Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other top-flight business publications. He lives in Michigan.