Under CEO David Taylor, P&G is innovating with a “strong focus on noticeable superiority.”
Taylor, Procter & Gamble’s chairman, president and CEO, has nearly 40 years of experience across many of P&G’s core categories and markets, according to the company’s website. He joined the Cincinnati-based conglomerate in 1980, after graduating from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Taylor spent the first decade of his career in P&G’s product supply organization where he managed production and operations at a number of plants.
“Some CEOs started out their careers at the companies that they go on to lead,” writes Money Inc. “In contrast, other CEOs climbed their way to the top by moving from company to company, rising a little bit higher each time. Taylor is an excellent example of a CEO who rose within their own company.”
In the early 1990s, Taylor transferred into P&G brand management, where he helped build many of the company’s core businesses including baby care, family care, hair care and home care, according to the company’s website. He has led global businesses, living and working in North America, Europe and Asia.
“The best managers have a reasonable understanding of various fields, which is important because managerial responsibilities tend to be both numerous and wide-ranging in nature,” Money Inc. writes. “As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that while Taylor honed his engineering skills as a plant manager, he also used it as a chance to learn other skills such as logistics, manufacturing, and supply chain management.”
David eventually led P&G’s family care and home care businesses. Prior to becoming CEO, he was group president of P&G’s global beauty, grooming and health care sectors with a portfolio of brands such as Crest, Oral-B, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Pantene, SK-II, Gillette, Fusion, Mach 3 and Vicks.
Taylor rewards risk-takers within the organization, having “seen his fair share of failures over the course of his career,” according to Money Inc.
In China, he tried to launch a new brand of hair care products, but they were met with a lackluster response because they weren’t that distinguishable from existing P&G brands offered there at the time.
“However, what is interesting is that Taylor is known for protecting people who take risks but do not necessarily find total and unqualified success with their risk-taking, as shown by the fact that some of his subordinates from that incident came out of it even stronger than before,” Money Inc. writes.
Indeed, P&G — under Taylor — changed its approach to innovation, according to Cincinnati TV station WCPO.
“P&G Ventures has about 40 new product ideas in various stages of development, including four that are now being sold online in direct-to-consumer trials,” WCPO writes on its website. “Beyond P&G Ventures, the company has used licensing deals to generate new revenue from manufacturing innovations.”
The company has even used Indiegogo launches to test new-product ideas like Airia, a high-tech air freshener announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to WCPO.
The innovation improvements have “grown from the strategy David Taylor initiated that has a strong focus on noticeable superiority” in P&G products, company spokesman Damon Jones told WCPO.
He’s No. 41 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies
Headquarters: Cincinnati, OH
Education: Duke University, B.S.
First joined company: 1980
Prior to joining P&G: N/A
Named CEO: 2015