John G. Smale

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John G. Smale
Born John Gray Smale
August 1, 1927
Listowel, Ontario, Canada
Died November 19, 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Home town Elmhurst, Illinois, U.S.
Title CEO, Procter & Gamble
Term 1981 to 1990
Spouse(s) Phyllis Weaver
Children 4

John Gray Smale (August 1, 1927 - November 19, 2011) was a Canadian businessman, the chief executive (CEO) of Procter & Gamble from 1981 to 1990, and chairman of General Motors from 1992 to 1995.[1]

According to his obituary in The New York Times, he "led Procter & Gamble through a period of extraordinary growth, and then helped engineer a turnaround of General Motors"[1]

Early life[edit]

John Gray Smale and his twin sister Joy were born on August 1, 1927 in Listowel, Ontario, Canada, and grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois.[1] Their father worked for the department store chain Marshall Field's as a travelling salesman.[1] He earned a bachelor's degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1949.[1]


In 1949, he joined Vick Chemical Co and worked for them for three years as a salesman (and would eventually lead the acquisition of their successor company, Richardson-Vicks, for $1.2 billion in 1985.[1][2]

In 1952, he joined Procter & Gamble in dental products and persuaded the American Dental Association to endorse a new product, Crest toothpaste, which went on to become one of P&G's best-selling brands.[3] He rose to become its seventh CEO, a role he held from 1981 to 1990.[3][1]

Personal life[edit]

Smale was married to Phyllis Weaver for 56 years until hear death in 2006, and they had four children, John Gray Jr, Peter, Catherine Anne Caldemeyer and Lisa Smale Corbett.[1]

He died at his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 19, 2011, aged 84.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "John G. Smale, Procter & Gamble Chief, Dies at 84". The New York Times. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2018. 
  2. ^ "John Smale, Former CEO of P&G and Chairman of GM, Dies at 84". Retrieved 14 February 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "Former Procter & Gamble CEO John Smale dies at 84". 20 November 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2018 – via Reuters.