President Barack Obama has made his decision on who he will assign to clean up Veteran Affair. Reports have surfaced that Obama will nominate Bob McDonald as the new VA Chief. McDonald is a surprise pick, considering he is most well-known for his background as former CEO of Procter & Gamble. The nomination of McDonald is set for Monday, according to the Washington Post. McDonald will undoubtedly take the lead role in cleaning up alleged corruption in the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The West Point scholar’s nomination comes in wake of a scandal involving the Veterans Health Association. On Friday, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors, filed a report with Obama about the association. Nabors’ findings concluded that the VA is attempting to “cover up” excessive waiting periods for veterans healthcare benefits by consistently doctoring records. The deputy also insinuated corruption describing Veteran Affairs health officials as exhibiting “corrosive behavior.” The former head of the Veterans Health Association director, Eric Shineski, resigned last month, amid political turmoil and demands that he do so.
The Department of Veteran Affairs had not assigned a replacement for Shineski as of yet. Despite working for the international consumer goods company, McDonald is not without his fair share of military ties. He served in the Army for five years, eventually becoming a Captain and his father is a World War II veteran. Obama is apparently seeking a new type of leader to organize reform. Skeptics have noted that previous VA officials have had political backgrounds. McDonald is 61-years-old and spent than more than half of his life at Procter & Gamble.
The consumer goods corporation provides name brand household essentials such as detergent, dish washing liquid, and paper towels. McDonald was employed at the company for 33 years. He was ultimately responsible for overseeing 120,000 employees, that cater to 200 different brands. He led P&G to annual sales of $84 billion during a four-year span. However, McDonald retired from P&G in 20013 among criticism of his ability or lack thereof, to continue increasing economic growth for Procter & Gamble.
Although President Obama’s nomination of McDonald as VA chief was generally well received, the former CEO will still have to deal with his skeptics. However, Bernie Sanders, the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee chairman was rather complimentary and optimistic of Obama’s nomination. Sanders went on to express confidence in McDonald potentially “implementing the kind of dramatic, systematic change,” necessary. Placing a VA chief that understands the importance of customer service oriented management may be the key to damage control for Obama’s VA.
McDonald’s nomination is out of Obama’s hands now because he still has to be confirmed by Congress as VA chief. However this appears to be a formality more than anything. McDonald’s does not have any major red flags on his resume. While Obama’s nomination may come as a surprise to many, from a strategical stand point Obama is sending a message to critics of VA. Having the rigid structure to produce sales, and the ability to manage an enormous company, while catering to consumers may be just the balance necessary for McDonald to keep his new title.
By Brandon Wright