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P&G Investors Profited Since Ackman Push: Former CEO

Former Procter & Gamble chief A.G. Lafley told CNBC Tuesday that his successor articulated a growth strategy before activist investor William Ackman's summer assault on the consumer product giant's management team.

With the stock and earnings up since then, Lafley, who retired in 2010, acknowledged in a "Squawk Box" interview, "Obviously, in the short term, everybody was a winner." He also said that he was still a P&G shareholder.

Back in July at the CNBC and Institutional Investor "Delivering Alpha Conference," Ackman disclosed that his Pershing Square, a hedge fund with about $10 billion under management, had taken a $1.8 billion, or about 1 percent, stake in P&G.

(Read More: Ackman Takes Activist Stance on P&G)

Ever since then, he's been trying to push out current Procter & Gamble Chairman and CEO Robert McDonald, though Ackman did say this past fall he understood that the P&G board wanted to give McDonald more time to execute a turnaround plan.

Last month, the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal second quarter and raised its outlook.

(Read More: Procter & Gamble Tops Estimates, Raises Outlook)

Procter & Gamble corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.
Getty Images
Procter & Gamble corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.

Lafley defended the current management team in Tuesday's CNBC interview, saying McDonald laid out his strategic roadmap for the company before Ackman got involved.

"I think what you're seeing is a response to a little more clarity from Bob ... about the strategic choices that the company made," he said.

"They have been very straightforward," Lafley said. "Grow from the core ... geographically and from an innovation and product standpoint. Extend into some prioritized emerging markets. ... And one thing I think they're going for is ongoing productivity [enhancements] to generate the cash to enable ongoing investment."

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC

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