President Obama nominated former Procter & Gamble CEO and a graduate of West Point Robert McDonald to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is in serious need of a leader who can turn things around.
“Let me state the obvious,” Obama said during his announcement of the nomination. “This is not going to be an easy assignment.”
Obama hopes McDonald is part of the answer to the department’s problems and highlighted his business savvy and management experience at P&G, where he joined in 1980 and served as CEO from 2009 to 2013.
“Bob is an expert in making organizations better,” Obama explained while introducing McDonald. “In his career, he has taken over struggling business units.”
“He knows how to roll up his sleeves, and gets to work – putting an end to what doesn’t work, adopting best practices that do, restructuring, introducing innovations, making operations more efficient and effective. In short, he is about delivering better results,” said Obama.
The Senate is only in session for a few days this summer but there is hope that bipartisan agreement will allow a speedy confirmation. Both parties are equally fed up with the way the VA has treated veterans, so there is a possibility for cooperation on this nomination. Additionally, McDonald has a history of contributing to the Republicans.
“Bob’s the manager we need to help get this done. So I urge the Senate to confirm him as soon as possible,” said Obama.
It is specifically McDonald’s consumer approach to management that leads many to believe that he is a good pick. In the nominee’s brief words at the announcement, he emphasized the need to shift focus back to what veterans need.
“We need to put care for the veteran at the center of everything that we do at Veterans Affairs. At Procter & Gamble, we always focus on our customer,” he said. “At the VA, the veteran is our customer, and we must focus all day, every day on getting them the benefits and care they’ve so earned.”