Smidgen Slayer ? Former Proctor and Gamble Chief, Bob McDonald, To Be Obama’s Nominee To Lead Scandal Clad Veterans Affairs….

bob mcdonaldDon’t know much about him, we’ll probably find out more in the coming days

WASHINGTON DC – President Obama on Monday will nominate Bob McDonald, a West Point graduate who served as the chief executive of Procter & Gamble, to take over as head of the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, according to White House officials.

The un­or­tho­dox pick of a retired corporate executive whose former company produces iconic household products such as Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper — rather than a former military general — underscores the serious management problems facing the agency charged with serving more than 8 million veterans a year. On Friday, White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors submitted a report to the president finding “significant and chronic system failures” and a “corrosive culture” at the Veterans Health Administration, which has come under fire for skewed record-keeping in an effort to cover up the long waits it has imposed on former soldiers seeking medical care.

In recent years, the job of VA secretary has been filled by retired generals, medical professionals or politicians. McDonald’s background is a significant departure, though he and his wife have deep family ties to the military. McDonald graduated in the top 2 percent of his class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and served in the Army for five years, achieving the rank of captain in the 82nd Airborne Division before taking an entry-level job at P&G. He is the son of an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, and his wife’s father was shot down over Europe and survived harsh treatment as a prisoner of war.

“The choice suggests a real focus on customer satisfaction, as opposed to what you might get from a retired general or medical leader,” said Phillip Carter, who follows veterans issues for the Center for a New American Security. “It is probably a wise choice given the concerns right now of veterans.”  (read more)

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21 Responses to Smidgen Slayer ? Former Proctor and Gamble Chief, Bob McDonald, To Be Obama’s Nominee To Lead Scandal Clad Veterans Affairs….

  1. joshua says:

    makes no sense at all. P&G is a product creation, branding, and distribution business. The VA hospital is a procedural, service, process oriented logistics operation. No similarity…no similarity to any Military Job either. It is a bureaucracy running hospital units and labs all over the country and international as well. Must BREAK IT UP into operational regions and take the national bureaucracy out of the loop until individual operations can be made functional immediately. He needs a TEAM of trusted OPERATIONS and LOGISTICS people, not a bunch of exsoldiers or doctors…..the issue is not bad medicine, it is non existing logistics control

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  2. rashomon says:

    E-e-e-e-e-egad. What a disaster! The VA hasn’t worked since my great-uncle and grandfather served in WWI. I’m with joshua: break it up, give the vets an I.D. card that allows them to make choices at prices negotiated to benefit them and use any hospital they choose. Post pricing and best-outcome info on the Internet. I colud go on, but the vets probably have better specifics.

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    • LetJusticePrevail" says:

      Ya know, even though I like your idea, I deleted 2 totally different replies to your suggestion, simply because I have no idea which would be worse:

      1) A totally inefficient separate health care system run by the government to treat vets

      2) A totally inefficient bureau built to oversee a program that funds private sector hospitals,doctors,etc who would (eventually) try to bilk the system (ie the taxpayers) out of every dollar they possibly could.

      And I’m not even trying to be sarcastic here. Which is cheaper for the American taxpayer to do? Provide quality care to vets with a system of VA hospitals, or provide quality care to vets by regulating how tax dollars would be paid to private sector care givers in a manner that controls the inevitable fraud to an “acceptable” level?

      Both would require an expensive infrastructure that would add bottom-line costs to the taxpayer. Does either promise a greater standard of care for the vets? I’m just not sure.

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      • joshua says:

        The VA does not have major problem with their quality of Medical Ability …they have total administrative failure to run the damn places….if you get a vet to a doctor in a place with equipment, and time for the patient to get cared for by doctors who are told to CARE for the patient, not worry about budget or coding services…..each individual hospital can get fixed…..but NO ONE IN WASHINGTON or the VA bureacracy WILL FIX IT NO WAY NO HOW NO TIME…..they all have to keep work spread out to keep jobs up…unfortunately, that means going slow while people get sicker and then die.

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  3. jetstream says:

    Fortune interview with Bob McDonald, who ‘retired’ 8 months later – after only 4 years as CEO of Proctor & Gamble: http://tinyurl.com/lvhhpnc

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    • jetstream says:

      Correction: 3 years as CEO

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      • joshua says:

        he was run off from P & G…he missed his targets and plan. he is actually a Republican donor…methinks Obama wants to saddle a Republican with an impossible task, and pick out one with no chance of success OR failure prior to elections. Just a suit. AND he would have NO TEAM experienced in hospital or healthcare institutional management or turnarounds or even acquisition or compliance correction to bring to the task…will take him six years to UNDERSTAND the healthcare business. FIXING the darn thing is just blocking and tackling…NOT POLITICS or MEETINGS….plus…the VA is out for bids on a multiple billion dollar SOFTWARE SYSTEM NEW DEVELOPMENT for integrated records in the VA…..shades of HHS and Obamacare??

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  4. LetJusticePrevail" says:

    I wonder how this news has affected the value of P+G stock? Wouldn’t he be in a position to funnel a ton of business their way?

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    • joshua says:

      what….soap and gloves? bathmats? towels? It is P & G, not GE.

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      • LetJusticePrevail" says:

        In 2013 P+G did over $84 BILLION in net sales. Not bad for “soap and gloves” eh?

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      • jcfromnj says:

        I’ll back all this up at a later time with all the particulars, BUT P&G has extensive business with VA thru their subsidiaries business entities. I’ve been a VA watcher for years, and the Rabbit Hole goes far deeper than anyone might expect. I’m putting a Web Site together just for this topic, Should be up in a day or so. The fix is in this with the McDonald nomination. One of a long line of Gatekeepers. The VA is an ongoing RICO. I’m John at:radiofreenewjersey@hotmail.com

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  5. yankeeintx says:

    From the comments in the WP article:
    bobfbell:
    “McDonald spent his entire corporate career at a company known for hiring and promoting the best and the brightest. He was surrounded by intelligent, competent and upwardly mobil execs who knew that advancement was possible if they attained the goals set. He seems to be getting into a corporate culture which is the antithesis of that. We all should wish him well and pray he can quickly identify in the VA those who want to not just make the changes necessary but lead in that effort. From what we have seen in both the scandals and the recent report commissioned by the White House too many in the VA were satisfied to go along to get along, and, worse, when confronted with a challenge chose to cook the books rather than rise to the challenge. He is going to have his hands full and no one should expect overnight miracles.”

    I thought democrats hated successful, greedy corporate CEO’s? Why does it seem like so many of Obama’s picks are people plucked from retirement, or due to retire? Is it so they can screw things up royally and make a quick exit.

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    • joshua says:

      Kennedy brought in his “Whiz Kids” too….all experts in business models with MBAs and Industial Engineering backgrounds…..from Ford, etc….THEY WERE MISERABLE FAILURES IN GOVT PROCESSING, DECISION MAKING, AND IMPLEMENTATION.

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  6. czarowniczy says:

    Perhaps I was premature posting this on the Open Thread. I find the writer’s idea that he speaks militaryese and can hobnob with the DoD flag officers to be more pre-sales BS than anything else – why would he have to have high-level tête–à–têtes with senior general-grade officers? He deals with vets, as in ‘ain’t in the military no mo’. And graduating from West Point – so he’s a ring-knocker, that UofU MBA means more to his position as VA head than that West Point degree does, he’s running a business and needs business skills. Don’t tell me about ‘leadership’, leadership in Federal civil service is one of the last things you need or will ever get a class in were you chosen to ‘supervise’ – we don’t lead.
    I wrote my Senators before I posted here – can’t wait to see the boilerplate that will come back – they soooooo desperately want this to just all go away and a new VA chief gives them at least a year or two breathing room until the honeymoon’s over.
    I also want to see how McDonald’s going to deal with a huge set-in-concrete civil service bureaucracy, where he won’t be able to effectively deal with rancid personnel as he did in the civilian economy. He’s hidebound by civil service regs and firing someone’s almost a Herculean labor. Just look in the classified ads in the Federal Times and see how many DC lawyers advertise as specializing in dealing with civil service firings.
    I hope he cam get something done but until I see solid proof that the VA’s no longer as dangerous to my health as al Qaeda I’ll stick with my fee-for-service hospital.

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    • LetJusticePrevail" says:

      Wow. Seems to me that you have perfectly characterized the culture present in most government bureaus:

      “…McDonald’s going to deal with a huge set-in-concrete civil service bureaucracy, where he won’t be able to effectively deal with rancid personnel as he did in the civilian economy. He’s hidebound by civil service regs and firing someone’s almost a Herculean labor…”

      And:

      “…leadership in Federal civil service is one of the last things you need or will ever get a class in were you chosen to ‘supervise’ – we don’t lead…”

      This environment will make him feel like he’s drowning in a mutinous sea of bureaucratic underlings that he has little or no power to control. How long before he is swallowed whole, or (like Martin Indyk) realizes the futility of his mission and “…cries out, in his anger and his pain, ‘I am leaving, I am leaving’…” (apologies to Paul Simon)

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  7. IntoTheFray says:

    His underlings at VA will chew him up and spit him out. Gov. Serv. is a totally different world than corporate. He will be another epic failure, which I am sure is what Obama intends.
    The only way I can see to fix the problem is to abolish the VA, other than as a small info org to provide info to new vets and put existing veterans on civilian health insurance. This, unfortunately, won’t happen in today’s era of Big Gov.
    The libs end game, I am sure, is single payer (Gov run) healthcare for all, so the more failure in regular medicine, the better. What’s ironic is that the VA IS government run healthcare! Our current VA is a preview of what you will end up with if the government is allowed to take over our healthcare.

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    • jcfromnj says:

      What’s needed is to check the latest VA legislation passed in the Senate to see if it give him the power to fire the Title 38, United States Code upper management types. They are the fire wall that prevents any real house cleaning in the VA. If McDonald doesn’t get that, he’s toast…

      Like

  8. Col(R) Ken says:

    I served with this young Captain. Give him 6 months for an assessment, then he will lay out the plan. He has my help if he needs it. I wish him well.
    COA 1- the management of VA will be fixed. Hire more Veterans for management in the VA bureaucracy..
    COA 2- if not close all VA healthcare facilities, cancel all medical care contracts, terminate all employees, doctors, venders. Sell all VA healthcare facilities. Give every eligible veteran a credit card for medical care. This would save 70% of the VA’s budget.
    If you control the manning document, you can terminate a federal employee, by elimination of position. Then let the federal employee’s union figure it out.

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    • joshua says:

      they will merely outsource the job requirements to civilian contractors…just like the Pentagon did when they got cuts in personnel recs.

      Like

  9. As indicated in the July 3, 2014 PR Newswire press release:
    “Hypocrite and Deserter” Charges By Operation: Heroes Organization Against Former Procter & Gamble CEO Clouds President Obama’s Nomination of Bob McDonald for U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
    President Obama’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs Nominee, Bob McDonald, Is Accused of Abandoning an Operation:Heroes’ Support Mission by Allowing Procter and Gamble’s Executives To Undermine and Renege on the P&G Agreement McDonald Personally Brokered. Operation:Heroes also claims McDonald Allowed The Interference and Subsequent Contract Breach Resulting In Cancellation Of The Primetime Network Television Special and National “Thank You For Your Service” Tour Honoring U.S. Military and First Responder Heroes.
    – ————————————————————————————————————–
    LAS VEGAS, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An already heated relationship between Procter and Gamble and Operation:Heroes boiled over with the recent announcement that P&G’s former CEO, Bob McDonald, is President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    Operation:Heroes’ spokesperson, Chuck Foster, describes McDonald as “a profit-focused corporate executive, but lacks necessary medical savvy to oversee America’s Department of Veterans Affairs!? He’s also the guy who allowed his P&G management to interfere with, sabotage and breach P&G’s own written support contract which caused the resulting failure and permanent destruction of Operation:Heroes – the annual Memorial Day Sunday event, primetime network TV special, and national ‘thank you for your service’ tour honoring America’s peer-chosen military and first responders!”
    “Given his West Point Academy training and military service background, it’s difficult to comprehend McDonald’s lack of leadership, including his failure to control P&G executives, particularly since he was the person who internally brokered the Operation:Heroes/P&G contract.
    Even more disturbing,” adds Foster, “is McDonald deserted the Operation:Heroes mission altogether by refusing to intervene when requested, which begs the question: “Why should McDonald be trusted to fix, and not contribute to an even greater SNAFU scenario that already jeopardizes the health-care and lives of our country’s military veterans!?”
    This website link below will access related documents including contracts, bios, plus e-mail communication to-and-from McDonald: http://operationheroes.homestead.com/bobmcdonald/bobmcdonaldsstory_7-2-14.html?

    Media Contact: Capt. Chuck Foster
    Email: newsdesk@operationheroes.org
    Website: http://www.operationheroes.org
    SOURCE Operation:Heroes

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  10. Chuck Foster says:

    With good and documented cause I question Bob McDonald’s choice of VA leadership which is based upon personal, first-hand experience!

    Specifically, currently before the U.S. District Court is a federal case charging Procter and Gamble, Procter & Gamble Productions, and P&G’s contracted media source, TeleNext Media (a subsidiary of MediaVest). The case is about reneging on, interfering with, even sabotaging P&G’s own support contract that was initially championed by P&G’s then CEO, Bob McDonald.

    To find out more about McDonald’s failed leadership in this scheduled primetime CBS television special mission to thank and honor America’s military and first-responder “heroes,” just Google: or use any major search engine and type in the words: Procter and Gamble Heroes Lawsuit … or check out the http://www.operationheroes.org website which also provides access to actual lawsuit and case-related exhibits.

    Disclosure: I’m Chuck Foster, Operation:Heroes Executive Producer/Dir. of Operations and Logistics; also a former first-responder and military service veteran.

    Like

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