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Senate approves former Procter & Gamble CEO for VA secretary

Former Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald prepares to testify in front of Congress.
Former Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald prepares to testify in front of Congress.
Win McNamee / Getty Images News

The US Senate on Tuesday approved the nomination of former Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald to run the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The Senate's approval means McDonald will become the new head of the troubled agency.

The Obama administration appointed McDonald to the position in June. The White House's pick underscored the management problems uncovered through the VA scandal — by picking a retired corporate executive instead of continuing the tradition of tapping a former military general, the White House signaled that it wanted someone who can seriously change the management structure across the VA's health-care system.

Still, McDonald has some ties to the military. He graduated near the top of his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served in the military for five years.

Later, McDonald took an entry-level job at Procter & Gamble. He eventually worked up the company, which is known for products like Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper.

McDonald abruptly retired from Procter & Gamble, Business Insider reported, after analysts and investors complained about reductions in profit forecasts. McDonald went through a few failed experiments during his tenure, including a botched attempt to focus on social and online media to reduce Procter & Gamble's reliance on paid advertising.

On the broader issue of the VA scandal, Congress is currently considering bipartisan legislation to reform the VA. To learn more, read Vox's full explainer about Congress's plan here and Vox's cardstack on the VA scandal below: