Procter & Gamble Co
said on Wednesday that Robert McDonald would become its next chief executive, while A.G. Lafley remains chairman as the world's largest consumer products maker navigates through the global downturn.

McDonald, a 29-year P&G veteran who currently serves as chief operating officer, was widely expected to win the top job, especially after another top-tier P&G executive, Susan Arnold, announced plans to retire in March.

Lafley, who turns 62 on June 13, joined P&G in 1977. He has been chairman since 2002 and CEO since 2000.

McDonald, who turns 56 on June 20, also becomes president and a member of the board. He joined the company in 1980 and became chief operating officer in July 2007. He is credited with trimming costs throughout P&G's operations.

The Wall Street Journal had reported the plan late on Monday, citing sources.

In the nine years since Lafley became CEO, P&G's shares have risen close to 90 percent.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)