JOHN SMALE - Bob McDonald & Bob Gill’s reflections on P&G’s former CEO
Published November 22, 2022 by Nina Pearl in
Janet Reid and Gordon Brunner are two P&G Alumni who had the privilege of coming up at the company during John Smale’s rise to leadership at P&G. Janet Reid is Founder, CEO, and Managing Partner of BRBS World, and spent 10 years as an early Brand Manager at P&G from 1980-1990. Gordon Brunner, a familiar guest on this podcast, was P&G’s former Chief Technical Officer, one of the company’s most renowned R&D executives, and the first R&D’er to sit on the company’s Board. Both have a lot to share about the purpose-driven, caring, demanding, and principled leader that was John Smale.
Throughout this month, we’ll be hearing reflections from leaders on John Smale, P&G’s former Chairman & CEO, who led P&G from 1981-1990, and served as General Motors’ Chairman from 1992-1995. These conversions are in honor of the new book “Here Forever: The Timeless Impact of John Smale on Procter & Gamble, General Motors, and the Purpose and Practice of Business” by Rob Garver, available now.
While John Smale passed away in 2011, he was arguably one the most influential leaders of the modern era, growing P&G more than six-fold during his tenure. And yet, Smale is largely unknown to many leaders guiding American and global businesses today. John’s leadership in developing a vision for corporate purpose was decades ahead of its time. This was a book years in the making by not just the author, but many of Pick up a copy wherever you get your favorite books.