Procter & Gamble’s high profile marketer Susan Arnold is to retire and leave the packaged goods company in September.
Arnold (pictured), who held the position of president of global business units, has stepped down from that role and will now be on “special assignment.”
The vice chairmen of P&G global business units who previously reported to Arnold will now report to chief executive officer AG Lafley.
Her decision to retire at 55 has prompted speculation over who is being groomed as successor to Lafley. Chief operating officer Robert McDonald is thought to be a likely candidate.
Former global marketing officer for P&G Jim Stengel left the company last year.
Arnold has been with P&G for 29 years and was the first woman to hold the role of president of the company’s personal beauty care business, overseeing the growth of brands such as Pantene, Olay, Head & Shoulders, Wella, Gillete, Fusion and Braun. She was also the first female vice chair and company president.
Recently she has led the company’s focus on sustainability, including P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water programme.
She will continue to serve on the boards of directors at the Walt Disney Company, McDonald’s and Save The Children.