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Ackman: P&G Giving CEO 'Bit More Time' to Right Ship

Javier E. David|Special to CNBC.com
Tuesday, 2 Oct 2012 | 9:59 AM ET

Activist investor William Ackman said Tuesday the board of troubled Procter & Gamble would likely give its chief “a little bit more time” to fix its problems, but he took a slap at its lack of a “culture of efficiency.”

Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.
Getty Images
Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

The head of Pershing Square Capital Management told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that his fund was not targeting P&G for a buyout or takeover. However, Ackman lashed out at a corporate structure he called “very fat and very bloated,” a condition that has caused it to fall behind its competitors. He laid much of the blame on CEO Robert McDonald.

“P&G is one of the great companies of all time,” Ackman said. Still, the consumer giant has “frankly stumbled under the last several years under the current CEO’s leadership, and we’ve kind of laid out what our concerns are.”

Ackman: P&G Has Stumbled Over Past Few Years
P&G has been one of the great growth companies of all times but quite frankly it has stumbled over the past couple of years under the current CEO's leadership, said William Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management founder & CEO, discussing the problems at Procter & Gamble.

For months, Ackman has taken public shots at P&G’s management. The company recently reported that earnings had fallen short of expectations, and it lowered its forecasts for the current quarter. (Read More:Ackman Takes Activist Stance on P&G.)

However, Ackman conceded that the board was “absolutely” heeding his concerns seriously.

“I think McDonald is very focused on keeping his job and succeeding, that’s a good dynamic,” he said. “I think the board wants to give a little bit more time and see if he can make some progress.”

Ackman compared P&G to Unilever, which he said was run in a much more seamless fashion.

“In a competitive world when your competitors are more nimble and can make faster decisions and have better cost structures, it allows them to reinvest in growth in a way that [P&G] has not been able to in the last several years."

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