Why is Procter & Gamble Moving Halfway Around the World?

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) announced Thursday that it would be moving its skin care, cosmetics, and personal-care headquarters from Ohio to Singapore to be closer to the growing Asian market. P&G President Virginia Drosos will leave the group rather than relocate. The relocation is expected to take two years.

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P&G sees Asia as its biggest growth opportunity. Three months ago, the company unveiled a restructuring plan aimed at saving $10 billion and helping the world’s largest household products maker expand faster in emerging markets. Some of P&G’s best-known brands include CoverGirl makeup, Olay and SK-II skincare products, and Secret deodorant.

Drosos has been with P&G since 1987, but rather than uproot her family, which includes two teenagers, she will retire. Deb Henretta, group president of P&G’s Asia and global specialty channel, will take over for Drosos as group president of global skin care, cosmetics, and personal care. Henretta joined P&G in 1985.

When all is said and done, the move is expected to affect no more than 20 positions. Henretta’s current position will be filled by P&G’s vice president of Japan, Hatsunori Kiriyama, who will be responsible for all of Asia except Greater China, which will continue to be run by Shannan Stevenson.

Kiriyama will move into his new position on July 1, Henretta will move to hers on August 1, and Drosos will retire on September 1. Women’s Wear Daily first reported the relocation and Drosos’ retirement.

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