William Procter was the grandson of William Procter, the man who co-founded Procter and Gamble in 1837. He became the company’s leader in 1907 and during his tenure led the business to new heights of nationwide success.
He is also remembered for instituting labor policies that emphasized profit-sharing among employees as well as pension plans.
William Procter – Revolutionizing a Brand
William Procter made Procter and Gamble a nationwide success and helped initiate positive business practices that would be emulated by many other businesses after his.
While his father was still head of Procter and Gamble, the younger William helped out by working full time with the company and developing and marketing a soap that would become an iconic beauty product – Ivory. By the time his father passed away and the company fell into his hands, he was already an attuned P&G worker and began initiating directives that would lead the company to greater successes.
One of these initiatives was a profit sharing program, designed by William to ease labor strikes. He reasoned that if employees had a personal stake in the company, they would be more inclined to work to support the business than tear it down through strikes. His plan – the first of its kind in the US – worked. He also introduced pension plans to help employees loyal to the company.
While taking care of his employees he also worked hard to keep P&G’s product line healthy. He eventually developed a shortening product called Crisco, which was made out of vegetable oils instead of animal fat.
William also pioneered market studies and consumer surveys, to get inside the minds of his customers in order to create a better product. He also established research and development facilities making P&G famous for making and perfecting their own products. William retired from P&G in 1930 after more than 20 years of service. His reforms and policies, as well as pioneering products, made P&G a primary model for new businesses then and even to this day.
The William Procter Quick Bio
Full Name: William Cooper Procter
Company: Procter & Gamble Company
Industry: Personal Care Home Products
Key Success Traits: analytical, confident leader
Under his leadership sponsored many radio shows in the 30s as means for advertising Procter and Gamble; these early shows were dubbed “Soap Operas” as a result.