Procter & Gamble Co is consolidating its three global units into two as Vice Chairman Robert Steele prepares to retire later this year.

Steele, 55, will leave as of September 1 after 35 years at the company, P&G said on Tuesday. Starting today, he is serving as vice chairman of health care strategy, working with Chairman and Chief Executive Bob McDonald to recommend strategies for P&G's healthcare business.

Steele most recently led the $14.6 billion health and well-being unit, the company's smallest. He oversaw goods such as Crest toothpaste, Always feminine care pads, Iams pet food and Pringles potato crisps. He led P&G's North American business from 2000 to 2006, a tenure that included bringing Gillette Co into the business after its 2005 acquisition.

P&G said that it is consolidating its three units -- beauty and grooming, health and well-being, and household care -- into two, beauty and grooming, and household care.

Steele, who joined P&G in 1976 as a sales representative, would like to try to become CEO of a major company, a P&G spokesman said.

One company searching for a CEO is Newell Rubbermaid. Last month, Newell said Mark Ketchum would retire from the role this year and stay on its board through the spring of 2012. Before he joined Newell in 2005, Ketchum had a 33-year career at P&G. Newell's 2010 revenue was $5.76 billion.


Under the new structure, P&G's oral care and feminine care businesses will become part of the beauty and grooming business unit. Personal health care, pet care and snacks will become part of the household care business unit.

Charlie Pierce, group president of global oral care, and Steve Bishop, group president of global feminine care, used to report to Steele and now report to Ed Shirley, vice chairman of beauty and grooming.

Tom Finn, president of global health care, and Dan Rajczak, senior vice president of global snacks and pet care, used to report to Steele and now report to Dimitri Panayotopoulos, the vice chairman of household care.

The company plans no sales as part of the consolidation.

Shares of Cincinnati-based P&G rose 0.4 percent to $63.40.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl. Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Robert MacMillan)