Discovery Lecture will feature leadership talk by Procter & Gamble CEO

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Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) Chairman, President and CEO Bob McDonald will bring his "Values-Based Leadership" message to Purdue University as part of the Discovery Lecture Series at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 30 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

"As you attended college, you learned all kinds of things. But the most important thing you earned is how to learn," said McDonald, who believes the best companies and leaders operate with a clear purpose and consistent set of principles or values.

"I can guarantee you that the future is going to be different from the present. And the speed of change in the future is actually increasing, and that's the competitive, flat and fast-paced world you're entering. My advice is to develop a values system that keeps you grounded in this ever-changing world."

Discovery Park, the Purdue Development Office and the Lilly Endowment are sponsoring McDonald's talk. Through a $1 million gift to Discovery Park from Lilly Endowment, Purdue launched the Discovery Lecture Series in 2006 for bringing prominent speakers to campus.

McDonald, who joined P&G in 1980, was named the company's president, CEO and board chairman in July 2009. He immediately launched an overarching growth strategy inspired by P&G's purpose - to touch and improve lives, now and for generations to come. The strategy focuses on touching and improving more consumers' lives, in more parts of the world, more completely.

Under his leadership, Cincinnati-based P&G has grown sales by an average of nearly 4 percent each year the past two years. Core earnings per share are up an average 7 percent, while adjusted-free cash flow has soared 106 percent. P&G has delivered these results despite significant economic headwinds, including slow to no growth in developed markets and rising commodity costs.

On the strength of these results, P&G has paid about $5.5 billion in dividends, returned more than $6 billion to shareholders through the repurchase of P&G stock, and marked the 121st consecutive year that P&G has paid a dividend.

McDonald was born in Gary, Ind., and grew up in Chicago. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in engineering. At West Point, he served as the brigade adjutant for the Corps of Cadets and was awarded the Silver Medal from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce.

After graduation, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army for five years, primarily in the 82nd Airborne Division, and earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 1978. Upon leaving the military he received the Meritorious Service Medal.

During his 31 years at P&G, McDonald has led the company's Canadian Laundry business, served as general manager of its Philippines operations, been vice president of Laundry & Cleaning Products Asia, and was president of its Japan Operations and Northeast Asia unit.

He also served as president of Global Fabric Care in Brussels and as president of Global Fabric & Home Care. In 2004, he became vice chairman of Global Operations before his appointment as CEO in July 2007.

McDonald received the inaugural Leadership Excellence Award from the U.S. Naval Academy and Harvard Business Review in 2007.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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