Sometime this year, Reuben Mark, CEO of Colgate-Palmolive since 1984, will step down and be succeeded by Englishman Ian Cook. Mark, famous for consistent execution, rallied his well-trained global management team to pull Colgate out of a rough patch a few years back by redoubling the focus on its highest-margin soap, pet food, and oral care products. Competing against Procter & Gamble, Colgate hasn’t always seemed innovative enough to keep up. But this year’s crop of new products, which include Colgate Max Fresh Kiss Me Mint toothpaste, has done fine, helped by a big boost in worldwide ad spending.
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