BY JOHN ECKBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Procter & Gamble Co. and Cincinnati will see a different type of leader when Durk I. Jager, a Dutch citizen, takes the P&G helm on Jan. 1, 1999.
Expect a direct -- even blunt -- strategist with a global view honed in nearly two decades with the company in European and Far Eastern markets in the 1970s and 1980s.
One trait about Mr. Jager (pronounced YAH-ger), 55, is certain, said Bob Fitzpatrick, retired vice president of the Procter & Gamble Fund, the company's charitable arm. He is a driven man who is unafraid to publicly criticize or praise those who work for him.
DURK I. JAGER
Title: President and chief operating officer; president and chief executive on Jan. 1, 1999. |
Born: Haskerland, The Netherlands.
Married: Ingrid Rosa Maria Baar.
Children: Maarten, Menno, Mark (deceased).
Education: BA, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 1968; MBA, Erasmus University, 1970.
Career highlights: Joined P&G on April 1, 1970, as an assistant brand manager in The Netherlands. Named Austria country manager, 1981; vice president Japan, 1987; executive VP (soap, chemicals, health care and beauty care divisions), 1990; president and COO, 1995; president and CEO, 1999.
Compensation for fiscal year ended June 30, 1998: $1.185 million in salary, and about $1.3 million in bonus and incentive awards to be paid in stock options and other long-term programs.
"He is very direct," Mr. Fitzpatrick said. "A lot of people, you never know where you stand. With Durk, you know where you stand. He is straightforward -- very focused, very smart. He has a tremendous command of facts and knowledge of the business."
Mr. Jager, in an interview Wednesday, said some changes from the John Pepper era are inevitable.
"There will be implications from a different style that everybody brings to a job," Mr. Jager said. "We fundamentally and deeply agree on what we want to achieve and the goals we have.
"Most of us have spent our entire careers with this company. You don't do that unless you agree, unless you buy into many of the premises of the organization, whether you come from the U.S. or Holland or China."
The appointment of Mr. Jager, who speaks seven languages, signals that the sun has not just risen on a new global era for P&G -- it is mid-afternoon and getting hot.
In 1997, net worldwide sales were $35.7 billion and about equally split between North America and the rest of the world: $17.7 billion from North America and $17.4 billion from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Of 106,000 worldwide P&G employees, 61 percent or 65,000 work outside North America.
Wall Street looks for a seamless transition between Mr. Pepper and Mr. Jager, and it expects Mr. Jager to keep a sharp eye on the global bottom line, said analyst Marvin Roffman, president of Roffman Miller Associates.
"He's a tough cookie -- a no-nonsense, tough guy. As tough as they come," Mr. Roffman said.
Mr. Roffman does not think Mr. Jager will implement a dramatic management change or shift the corporate philosophy, but he expects Mr. Jager to surround himself with proteges and others who are professionally close.
Unlike Mr. Pepper, Mr. Jager has not immersed himself in numerous charitable efforts during his past eight years at P&G's Cincinnati headquarters, preferring to limit his charitable work to membership on the executive committee of the United Negro College Fund and to the board of governors of The Nature Conservancy.
Mr. Jager is the general chairman of the Fine Arts Fund Campaign for 1999.
When Mr. Jager throws himself into a project, there is no halfway, said Susan Dorward, campaign director for the Fine Arts Fund, a group that raises money for eight of the region's largest arts organizations and for the Community Arts Fund.
"This is our 50th anniversary year. We were looking for a leader who could take us beyond business as usual. We are delighted that he could take the time," she said. "He has assembled a cabinet, met with them all. For somebody that important to take the time for preliminary matters, it is just amazing."
Mr. Jager joined the company April 1, 1970, in The Netherlands, held posts in Austria and Japan and became group vice president of the Far East and Asia Pacific divisions in 1988. He joined the board of directors in 1989, moved to Cincinnati in 1990 and became executive vice president of U.S. business in 1991.
In July 1995, he was elevated to president and chief operating officer, when Mr. Pepper was named chairman and chief executive officer. Those promotions were triggered by the retirement of Edwin L. Artzt as chairman and chief executive.