Sitting in his company's South American headquarters here, A.G. Lafley, chief executive of Procter & Gamble Co., shared some advice with a group of laundry executives: "The simple principle in life is to find out what she wants and give it to her. It's worked in my marriage for 35 years and it works in laundry."
The group erupted in laughter and Mr. Lafley smiled. But he wasn't really kidding. Hewing to this deceptively straightforward principle has helped the 57-year-old P&G veteran revive the fortunes of the maker of Pampers, Pantene and Tide. Five years ago, when Mr. Lafley took over the world's largest consumer-products company, it was floundering amid a botched attempt to overhaul its insular culture. Read more in. (You may need to click instead).