Ed Artzt (1930-2023): P&G’s former CEO & Chairman (1990-1995)
Published April 17, 2023 by pgalums in
Ed Artzt served as P&G’s CEO and Chairman from 1990 to 1995. During his extensive 41-year career, Ed worked in multiple business sectors. To each, he brought strong leadership, strategic insight, remarkable decisiveness, and an unrelenting drive to be number 1. His time as the Chief Executive was a period of unprecedented change in the global marketplace. Ed foresaw and implemented innovative transformations from restructuring the organization’s design, the divestiture of non-strategic businesses, new acquisitions, opening up new markets, and building the diversity of P&G’s leadership. He addressed these decisions with courage and conviction in ways that reflected the company’s Purpose, Values, and Principles. Ed is credited as the principal architect of P&G becoming a global business. During his tenure, international sales grew from less than 10% to accounting for over half of P&G’s worldwide sales. He oversaw the transformation of US and European brands like Pantene, Always, Pampers, and Ariel into global brands. P&G’s reach quintupled from one to five billion consumers.
Ed also served on the boards of American Express, Delta Airlines, GTE, and Teradyne. He was active in foreign affairs and an influential advocate of world trade and on President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations.
With Ed’s recent passing in April 2023, we wanted to honor his memory, by replaying our 2020 conversation where Ed shared his perspectives on the importance of storytelling and the competitive advantage of integrity. His stories illuminate concrete lessons from both P&G’s successes and failures which speak directly to the challenges business leaders continue to face today.
READ THE BOOK — For more on Ed’s life and learnings – be sure to purchase his memoir / oral history: “P&G the Globalization Years: Lessons Learned during Procter & Gamble’s Transformation from an American Exporter to a Global Marketer”