P&G CEO hangs up on the quarterly earnings call

Oct 24, 2013
<p>Consumer products giant bucks trend to drop CEO from quarterly calls</p>

Alan Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble (P&G), will no longer join the company’s quarterly earnings call with investors.

Starting with tomorrow’s conference call, when the firm will report its first quarter results ending September 30, CFO Jon Moeller and John Chevalier, P&G’s director of investor relations, will lead the company’s quarterly calls.

‘We’re making this change to put even greater emphasis on annual results and trends, versus quarterly results, consistent with our recent change in guidance approach, and to increase productivity,’ Chevalier told sell-side analysts in a memo, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Lafley will continue to lead the company’s annual wrap-up calls in early August, as well as participating in investor conferences and meetings with investors, according to P&G.

The latest change in the way P&G interacts with Wall Street comes after it decided to put an end to quarterly guidance reports in August. The decision to remove Lafley from earnings calls puts the world’s largest consumer products company by sales at odds with US rivals such as Colgate-Palmolive and Kimberly-Clark, which both have their CEO lead almost all quarterly calls.

While P&G told the Wall Street Journal that analysts had reacted positively to the change, Linda Bolton Weiser, an analyst at B Riley & Co, called the move ‘curious’, says the paper.

Lafley – who returned to the P&G CEO role in May, replacing Bob McDonald – is seen as a ‘clear communicator’, continues the paper, alongside a client note issued by Weiser, in which she says Lafley is ‘better than any executive I have ever seen at instilling confidence. We think this is a bad sign. Clearly, P&G is doing it to insulate Lafley from direct attack. What will be so bad in the results that P&G needs to protect Lafley from attack?’

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