As early as 1975, while leading P&G’s European operations, Ed made growing the international businesses of the Company a top priority. This would culminate during Ed’s tenure as our CEO, as he made the globalization of P&G his priority, expanding into the world’s fastest-growing markets and creating scale by globalizing the planning, internal structure, communications and execution of new business activities.

Ed spent considerable time throughout his career developing employees. One of his most enduring contributions is the creation of P&G College, the predecessor of our current training programs, which became the cornerstone of our worldwide training efforts. He was also a courageous advocate for diversity, measuring and rewarding management for leveraging the unique backgrounds and experiences of employees to create new advantages as we became a global company.

Current Chief Executive Officer, Jon Moeller, reflected on the influence Ed Artzt had on the Company, “Ed had the foresight and competitive spirit to position P&G for success, and he led with conviction and courage.”

Procter & Gamble

In the conference center at P&G headquarters that bears his name, there is a quote from Ed Artzt.

“This is not a company of ordinary individuals.  It’s an organization of high energy, creative, articulate people who like to set higher standards for themselves than anyone else can set for them.”

When I meet younger alumni and even employees who did get to know the man, I remind them of these words. I think it says a great deal about a company when its leaders credit success to their people. I think it also says a great deal about such a leader.

Ed Tazzia, Chairman
P&G Alumni Network

One thought on “Remembering Ed Artzt

  1. During 1982-1987, I worked in P&G E&SO international marketing office in Geneva, when John Smale was the CEO and Ed Artz was Head of International Operations. I worked in the Far East and Middle East Markets covering Hong Kong, Malaysia, Lebanon, Cyprus and Yemen markets as marketing manager.

    I am impressed that the old chiefs of P&G learnt the lessons, good or bad; especially the latter to emerge to be a better leader of a multi-cultural global organization. I happened to witness the major changes of P&G from US-centric to be a more market-cultural driven organization.

    In the early days, most international TVCs were old commercials made mostly in USA and dubbed into local languages. It worked in the very early days till P&G started to enter the big Asian markets like Japan and China. Recognizing marketing talents with diversed cultural background were key to spearhead P&G international expansion, P&G International started recruiting MBAs from leading business schools in North America and posted them in E&SO Geneva on training assignments.

    The past few decades international success of P&G is self-evident when E&SO Far East and Middle East markets were spun off as regional organizations due to closer to the markets to better understand the consumer needs. In hindsight, there were key lessons that might serve as important learning experience for international expansion that I want to share:

    1. “What worked in USA would be replicated around the world”. In mid-1980s, Ivory Soap was identified as the winner in Asia. First mass market was Philippines which was the third international market with critical mass in Asia, but with relatively low purchasing power. Hong Kong was chosen as a test market, given its size, geographical location and relatively sophisticated consumer base and retail channels. Mistakes:

    – No visualization of the 99.xx% purity of the floating mnemonic as Ivory bar to be launched in Philippines would be reformulated due to cost/ affordability reason.
    – The advertising copy basically followed the old US copy almost a century ago – mildness good for you and good for the baby……….. Top management was not happy with the local creative deviated from the US copy points. Cincinati commissioned S&S from USA to redo the TVC shooting based on the old US copy strategy, but without the visualization of purity that the bar could float.
    – Big A&P budget was allocated for the test market but the brand did not take off as expected.
    – During the brand review, I was asked why Ivory did not fly in Hong Kong. I was honest enough to tell the Chief that the copy and product strategies did not work in Hong Kong as the brand slogan was stolen by J&J to advertise its baby toiletries for decades and the most important brand promise of purity was chopped off. Thus, Ivory was regarded as an expensive white laundry bar at best, while beauty bars were sold mainly on fragrance and lather.
    – The test market was discontinued with failure as Hong Kong, as a duty-free relatively sophisticated consumer market, was not a suitable test market for Philippines in terms of consumer needs and brand appeal.

    2. Over 50 international talents for the Far East and Middle East markets were recruited as marketing assistants, based in E&SO Geneva. After on-the-job training on various marketing and sales assignments, they were sent to the respective markets with the expectation to build up the Far East and Middle East markets aggressively. Within 3 years, almost all the new recruits left P&G to embark upon a brighter future. In hindsight, the Company under-estimated the needs of these bunch of Asian high-flyers and only paid them a competitive local salary when relocated back to the local markets, while Western bosses all paid with hefty expatriate packages.
    – Great HR initiative for international expansion
    – Poor understanding of the marketability of the trained talent pools
    – Lack of retention incentives to build the talent pools

    My daughters did encourage me to write a memoir too. Thus, I might kick this off with sharing my limited experiences with P&G in the 1980’s.

    Best regards,

    Ambrose Chan

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