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P&G CEO switch will not lead to big strategy change: CFO

A.G. Lafley speaks during the World Business Forum in New York in this October 6, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files
A.G. Lafley speaks during the World Business Forum in New York in this October 6, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files

(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co said on Friday the surprise return of A.G. Lafley as chairman and chief executive was not an indication of any bigger problems at the world's largest consumer products maker.

Lafley replaces Bob McDonald, effective immediately, at P&G, which is in the midst of a major restructuring.

Shares of P&G were up nearly 4 percent at $81.81 on Friday after rising as high as $82.35.

"This change very simply reflects Bob McDonald's decision to retire and the board's view that A.G. Lafley was currently the best person to replace Bob and build on the momentum that Bob has initiated and led," Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said on a very brief conference call for analysts on Friday morning.

The CFO said there would not be any dramatic change in strategy due to the switch in CEOs.

The announcement late Thursday was "not indicative of any kind of bigger problem or financial issue," he said.

P&G, the maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors, did not give a specific reason for McDonald's departure other than to say that he is retiring. McDonald is 59, and Lafley is 65.

P&G plans to pay Lafley a base salary of $2 million a year. His base salary in 2009 was $1.8 million.

"This won't result in a dramatic change in our strategy or priorities," Moeller said, adding that P&G will try to keep momentum going in its developing markets.

Moeller was the only speaker on the call and he did not take questions from analysts.

P&G maintained its financial outlook as it made Thursday's announcement on the CEO shakeup. The Cincinnati-based company cut its forecasts a few times during McDonald's tenure.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Additional reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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