The proxy fight over who gets to serve on Procter & Gamble Co.’s board of directors means more than corporate warfare waged between well-heeled investors.
P&G is a major employer in Ohio and remains the company behind some of the most familiar brands and names in homes across the nation — and indeed, the world.
Here are three reasons why a P&G shareholder vote on the direction of the company matters.
1. P&G is a significant employer.
Very significant. Worldwide, the consumer brands giant has about 95,000 employees. About 25,000 P&G employees work in the United States, about 27,000 total in North America.
But employment is quite sizable closer to home, too.
P&G has about 11,000 Ohio employees, with about 10,000 employees in the Cincinnati area and about 3,400 in downtown Cincinnati.
It’s an important employer in the Dayton area, too.
The company has a business center in Mason, with more than 1,500 mostly research and development workers. A 1.7 million-square-foot distribution center for P&G products opened near the Dayton International Airport in 2015.
More than a third of P&G’s products moves through that distribution facility, with the help of a third-party supply chain manager, Exel.
Exel employs about 600 people and P&G has bout 140 workers at the center, located in Union.
2. Where are Ohio’s most valuable brands? On your shelf, most likely.
A March 2017 valuation ranking released by consultant Brand Finance found that 28 of America’s 500 most valuable brands are based right here in Ohio.
Ten of those brands are found under the Cincinnati-based P&G corporate umbrella.
In fact, Brand Finance found that shampoo brand Pantene topped the list of the most valuable brands in the Buckeye State. Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret and retailers Kroger and Macy’s took 2nd, 3rd and 4th places in the state, behind Pantene, the consultant said.
P&G saw more than $65 billion in net sales in fiscal year 2017, with major brands found in beauty, home care, grooming and other areas.
3. In the proxy battle, jobs could be at stake.
David Taylor, P&G chief executive, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that activist investor and shareholder Nelson Peltz — who’s fighting for a seat on the company’s board of directors — wants to move “business units and jobs” out of the company’s downtown Cincinnati headquarters, and that he calls for “deep cost-cutting.”
Peltz, in a statement from his company, Trian Partners, said P&G’s $10 billion cost-cutting program, launched five years ago, has had “no discernible impact on profits or sales growth.”
A company spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about the board fight’s possible impact on jobs.
Shareholders are voting now on who is seating on P&G’s board.