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Ex-P&G head is Obama's choice to lead Veterans Affairs

Obama to Nominate Former P&G CEO as VA Secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama plans to nominate former Proctor & Gamble executive Robert McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, as the White House seeks to shore up an agency beset by treatment delays and struggling to deal with an influx of new veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An administration official said Obama would announce McDonald's appointment Monday. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald would succeed Eric Shinseki, the retired four-star general who resigned last month as the scope of the issues at veterans' hospitals became apparent.

In tapping McDonald for the post, Obama is signaling his desire to install a VA chief with broad management experience. McDonald also had military experience, graduating near the top of his class from West Point and serving as a captain in the Army, primarily in the 82nd Airborne Division.

The administration official insisted on anonymity in order to confirm McDonald's appointment before the president's announcement.

Jim McNerney, Chairman and CEO of The Boeing Company, welcomed the development. "I believe Bob McDonald is an outstanding choice for this critically important position. Following his military service, Bob spent more than three decades in business, where he rose through the ranks leading increasingly large and complex organizations by demonstrating strong management skills and by understanding and attending to the needs of hundreds of thousands of individual consumers of Procter & Gamble."

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a statement that he looked forward to meeting with McDonald next week to get his views on issues he views as important.

Among them, Sanders said in a statement, "The VA needs significantly improved transparency and accountability and it needs an increased number of doctors, nurses and other medical staff so that all eligible veterans get high-quality health care in a timely manner."

A biography of McDonald on Procter & Gamble's website says he led the company from 2009 to 2013.

During that time, the company website states: "P&G realized annual sales of over $84 billion. The company had more than 120,000 employees, 120 plants and 200 brands in 35 categories, of which 25 brands generate over $1 billion in sales each year."

The company's Tide detergent, Crest toothpaste and other products can be found in 98 percent of American households. But under McDonald's leadership, it struggled to grow under increased competition and global economic challenges. Critics suggested he was having trouble getting the 150-year-old-plus company to fire on all cylinders.

Investors, including activist investor William Ackman, voiced frustration over the company's slow revenue growth and stagnant market share gains. Ackman, who took a 1 percent stake in the company, pressed for the company to streamline operations and improve results.

In a letter announcing his retirement from P&G, McDonald wrote, "This has been a very difficult decision for me, but I'm convinced it is what is in the best interests of the company and you."

"During the past year, much attention has been focused on me from several angles, which has been a distraction that is not in our best interests," he wrote.

In a surprise move, McDonald was replaced by the man he had replaced, former P&G CEO A.G. Lafley.

McDonald has also served on the board of directors of the Xerox Corp., the United States Steel Corp., the McKinsey Advisory Council and the Greater Cincinnati regional initiative intended to "grow high-potential startups" in the Cincinnati region.

McDonald is 61. A native of Gary, Indiana, McDonald grew up in Chicago and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1975 with a degree in engineering. He also earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 1978.

Join the discussion

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Richard June 29 2014 at 5:56 PM

A name like McDonald ? I hope he isn't another Clown like the many Obama has hired to do his inept abilities that wastes time and money to properly assist our many deserving veterans.

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5 replies
erubertas June 29 2014 at 6:33 PM

I am one of the VET's abused by the waiting times with stage 4 cancer,at Bay Pines VA in FL. My PCP at Bay Pines could not make a decision between colonoscpy and Pancreatic cancer and cannot multi task a Vet's health care/records. Its not only the returning Vets that need quality care but all VETS. With my horrid experience at Bay Pines every office is covering up every other office issues.The new VA leader needs to hear directly from abused VETS that will give him the understanding to weed out the "BS" that VA management is dishing out to Congress. Congressman Jolly (FLA) held a VET intake day with complaints, complaints and complaints about the VA. One of the largest problems inside the VA is that Managers at VA hospitals DO NOT LISTEN and ACT to their own Doctors requests. I have written asking for answers directly from the Director of the VA Bay Pines Hospital on why my Stage 4 cancer was delayed and the Director have never answered.Who is holding Bay Pines director accountable?

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5 replies
indigoreco June 29 2014 at 5:43 PM

Why "struggling". The don't "struggle" to buy a new 200 million dollar drone...they don't "struggle" to buy weapons, or deploy troops, or purchase planes, tanks, guns, etc. Why are they STUGGLING to take care of the soldiers who fight THEIR wars. This has not changed since the second world war...or maybe EVER. It's shameful, and anyone who volunteers to fight...should know what they will face when they come home. APATHY.

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4 replies
muffin June 29 2014 at 6:28 PM

So, this new man left P&G under less than happy circumstances. Obama does not seem to understand that people do not like him (O). Whatever he does, there always seems to be some kind of secretive motive. Maybe this guy will be confirmed. If so, he better come in with guns blaring or it will look like another fiasco from O.

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3 replies
Beverly Bowne June 29 2014 at 6:26 PM

A Veteran with heavy experience in Hospital or Nursing Home Administration would have been a better choice as VA Secretary.

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5 replies
mrscdel June 29 2014 at 6:07 PM

P&G is just one more company OWNED by the govt that will kiss obowmao's and his Muslim Bro hood's butts. They care NOTHING About the Veterans. THey care NOTHING about the USA. in fact...not one country cares about its people anymore...and if you think I am extreem...look at the tags on the products in your home that have put your veterans and husbands and children out of work....CHINA. A COMMUNIST COUNTRY that every greedy SOB has a portfolio in ...and wants you to call the world market GLOBAL ..a nice cover term for ROBBING YOU AND YOURS BLIND!!! Want to restore Scotland...dont buy a single item not made in Scotland...want to restore India..dont buy a single item not made in INDIA ..want to retore the USA>>TELL CHINA TO GO F THEMSELVES along with every product that has made in it on it......COMMUNISM and SOCIALISM has NO REGARD whatsoever for people.....only the powerful govts and the uber rich...and I ask...IS THAT YOU????

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5 replies
highlandparkre June 29 2014 at 5:44 PM

VA should hire only vetereans!

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7 replies
sylvin51 June 29 2014 at 7:42 PM

Who ever this ******* appoints, will tell the American people just what he wants you to hear which will be a bunch of lies. We will never get the truth out of this. We should of had it back before he was re-eleted becuase he knew about it then but was not a good time to bring up a Government run Health care becuase he was trying to get one passed for the American people.m Anyway this is Govenment run health care at its best and we have it forced upon the American people now and ******* Judge Roberts gave ti the go ahead with his lam brain excuse he couldn't protect the people from there elected official. Although we didn't ask him to do that we just ask him to do his job which he didn't and here we are America. "WAKE UP AMERICA" IMPEACH THIS ******* BEFORE HE DESTROYS REST OF AMERICA AND THAT IS HIS GOAL!!!!!

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2 replies
majorg1000 sylvin51 June 29 2014 at 9:09 PM

Proof. Show us the proof.

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rmg21943 sylvin51 June 30 2014 at 3:01 AM

"The people who receive VA care by and large rave about it," the VFW's Davis said.


As does the American Legion:


4. Veterans Love the VA. Every survey shows the veterans love the VA. For example, a 2014 survey of Veterans and patients in private care showed the VA rates 20 points higher than private care.

VA Outpatient: 83
VA Inpatient: 80
Private Care: 63


5. VA Provides Better Care. Multiple studies show the VA provides better Medical care. For example, 2013 study of the Quality of Care, and Safety shows the VA scores better than private hospitals in "Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set" (HEDIS) Scores:

VA Average HEDIS Score: 84%
Private Care HEDIS Score: 65%

The VA outscores commercial hospitals in 18 out of 19 measures of patient quality of care. They Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) shows patient satisfaction is higher at the VA than private hospitals in 18 out of 20 categories.


There have been half a dozen other reports over the last 10 years showing the same thing.

6. The VA Treats Sicker Patients and Costs Less. Per-Patient per-year Health Care Costs:

Medicare: $10,353
Private healthcare: $7,681
Veterans Administration: $7036

According a study published in the "Archives of Internal Medicine," VA patients are sicker and more difficult to treat than the average population. They analyzed 128,099 patient records, comparing VA patients with private patients based on the number of medical conditions, number of outpatient physician visits, number of hospital admissions, and number of hospital days each year.

"Veterans Affairs veterans were 14.7 times more likely to have poor health status than the general population, and 14 times more likely to have 5 or more medical conditions than the general population."


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crowland503 June 29 2014 at 9:32 PM

The current VA situation's nothing more than a reflection of Obamacare in action across this country. If only 1% uses the VA, then imagine the health disaster imposed after a 98% increase. Then add the illegals. Obama's signature legacy in action!

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hwlndrbrt June 29 2014 at 5:57 PM

Mr. McDonald: As the wife of a veteran with many friends as fellow veterans, please take seriously the issues. You are handling so many veterans' lives, and in some cases a matter of life or death. We are praying for you. Please! Take care of the vets!!!

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1 reply
Mike hwlndrbrt June 29 2014 at 9:47 PM

Dream on, not under Odummy's administration.

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1 reply
Wonderful Gray Mike June 29 2014 at 10:31 PM

Stop lying on the man because of your hatred for President Obama. We already know you are the problem with this country.
Coming from a family of veterans.

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