U.S. News


Obama Taps Former P&G CEO To Head Veterans Affairs

Bob McDonald, who was CEO of Procter & Gamble for three years, is expected to be Obama's next pick to head the V.A.
Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 29, 2014

After a tumultuous few months for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it appears President Obama has selected a new head for the troubled department.

Obama has chosen former Proctor & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald to head Veterans Affairs after former secretary Eric Shinseki resigned last month. (Via Flickr / ACUalumni)

McDonald is a West Point graduate and Army veteran. His 33-year career at Procter & Gamble began with an entry level position and ended with him serving as CEO for three years. (Via Procter & Gamble)

The New York Times points out McDonald's experience running a company with more than 120,000 employees and operations across the globe, combined with his history as a respected veteran, make him a good fit for the role.

The Veterans Affairs department consists of 1,700 facilities that serve nearly eight million veterans.

House Speaker John Boehner has been one of Obama's harshest critics, and even he had mostly good things to say about the appointment. "Bob McDonald is a good man, a veteran, and a strong leader with decades of experience in the private sector. With those traits, he's the kind of person who is capable of implementing the kind of dramatic systemic change that is badly needed and long overdue at the VA."

Well, his comments were mostly positive, anyway. He went on to say that, for McDonald to be an effective leader, the president would have to get behind him and fully commit to change.

Some groups are less than thrilled about McDonald, though. A spokesperson for the Iraq and Afghan Veterans of America is concerned over the fact that McDonald has no background in medicine. (Via The Washington Post)

It's also worth noting that McDonald was forced out of Procter & Gamble after his leadership was questioned when the company fell on hard times. (Via CNN)

McDonald is inheriting quite a mess at the VA. Shinseki resigned in May after reports revealed many veterans died while on waiting lists, and also found a culture of mismanagement. (Via NBC)

Bloomberg cites a White House report that portrays the department as lacking accountability, noting many V.A. officials ignore directives from its central office and reject criticism.

Obama is expected to officially announce McDonald as his pick Monday.