Alan Lafley holds a PhD degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.
Young graduate of the Harvard Business School Allan George Lafley joined Procter & Gamble Group in 1977. Before that, his career was not particularly business oriented. At high school, he dreamt of being a basketball couch. Then, he went to Paris to study arts. Later, he studied history at the University of Virginia. However, after the first semester, he decided to join the US Navy, where he served as a General Manager of Retail and Service Operations for service members in Japan during the Vietnam War. After his discharge, Lafley studied MBA at Harvard Business School.
During the first 15 years at Procter & Gamble, Alan Lafley occupied different positions in the Fabric & Home Care department. In 1994, he was appointed as a chief of the Group’s operations in Asian region, based in Japan. He also participated in penetration of Chinese market.
Upon his return to the United States, he joined the Beauty Department of the company. In 2000, he became a General Director of the most profitable company in the United States, and six years later he was awarded “CEO of the year 2006” by Chief Executive magazine.
Lafley was heading the Group until his retirement in 2009. Then, he served as a consultant to the President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
In 2013, he rejoined the Company at the age of 65 years, right after retirement of his processor Bob McDonald. The same year, he has published his book “Playing to win” where he introduces a strategic approach to achieve business success.
In 1982, frustrated with the Procter&Gamble’s bureaucracy, Alan George Lafley decided to leave the company. His boss tore his resignation letter and asked him to think it over again during one week. They met every evening over a beer, and in the end of the week, Lafley agreed to stay, and was promoted to the position of a laundry department chief. Restructurisation of the company’s laundry business by Lafley was a tremendous success.