P&G fails in bid to block Alberto executive

Procter & Gamble is to appeal after a judge dismissed its attempt to stop a former executive working for rival Alberto-Culver.

Procter & Gamble is to appeal after a judge dismissed its attempt to stop a former executive working for rival Alberto-Culver.

In an embarrassing and potentially expensive setback, P&G failed to bring an injunction to block Paul Stoneham, former managing director for P&G Germany for haircare, becoming president of Alberto-Culver International.

The case was heard in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of P&G’s worldwide headquarters.

P&G cited a stock-option plan that forbids executives taking a job involving a competing product for three years.

Judge George Elliott said: “There’s been no evidence presented of any harm to P&G resulting or likely to result from the defendant’s departure.” He added that P&G’s non-compete agreement “is used as a measure to retain valued employees” rather than to protect trade secrets.

In a statement P&G says: “P&G had no choice but to bring this lawsuit, and the company expects to win on appeal.”

Stoneham argues his ex-employer never faced a significant threat from Alberto-Culver in Europe. “I have always kept P&G’s information in confidence and will continue to do so,” he says.

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