The Procter & Gamble Company, committed to accelerating its open innovation work, has named one of its top business leaders as the new head of Connect+Develop, the program that’s brought consumers a series of breakthrough products including Clairol Foam, Olay Smooth Finish, Olay Regenerist and CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara. Laura Becker will lead P&G’s global business development group, responsible for empowering and driving Connect+Develop open innovation work across the company and around the world.
A 22-year P&G veteran who has worked in a range of areas across the company, Becker brings a depth of business and strategic-development expertise to GBD. She replaces Jeff Weedman who helped lead P&G’s open innovation work for more than 16 years. Weedman is leaving to serve as a P&G executive on loan, heading a new regional not-for-profit supporting innovation growth and small business start-ups in the region.
“Connect+Develop has helped deliver some of P&G’s leading innovations, and is critical in helping us deliver on our renewed growth strategy moving forward – including a sharper focus on our 20 largest and most promising innovations,” said P&G CTO Bruce Brown. “Connect+Develop has proven to be a winning strategy, with still more room for growth.”
Becker joined P&G in 1990 as a graduate from the Wharton School of Business, and since has risen quickly through a number of key roles. She has worked in cost forecasting, financial analysis, new business development, global treasury, portfolio analysis for the research and development organization and held a number of global finance and accounting roles, including most recently as the finance director for global feminine care.
“We want Connect+Develop to help deliver a dozen more really breakthrough innovations that change the marketplace, grows a category, and have consumers saying: ‘I need this product,’” Becker said. “We have a depth of innovation talent inside our walls. We’ve build razor-sharp networks linking creative minds from all over the world. We’re connected with consumer needs. We have all the ingredients for real innovation magic. Let’s accelerate delivery.”