Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2003 (Revised March 2004)

P&G Japan: The SK-II Globalization Project

by Christopher A. Bartlett


Traces changes in P&G's international strategy and structure, culminating in Organization 2005, a reorganization that places strategic emphasis on product innovation rather than geographic expansion and shifts power from local subsidiary to global business management. In the context of these changes introduced by Durk Jager, P&G's new CEO, Paolo de Cesare is transferred to Japan, where he takes over the recently turned-around beauty care business. Within the familiar Max Factor portfolio he inherits is SK-II, a fast-growing, highly profitable skin care product developed in Japan. Priced at over $100 a bottle, this is not a typical P&G product, but its successful introduction in Taiwan and Hong Kong has de Cesare thinking the brand has global potential. As the case closes, he is questioning whether he should take a proposal to the beauty care global business unit to expand into Mainland China and/or Europe.

Keywords: Business Subsidiaries; Trade; Globalization; Global Strategy; Innovation Strategy; Business or Company Management; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Hong Kong; Japan; Taiwan; Europe;


Bartlett, Christopher A. "P&G Japan: The SK-II Globalization Project." Harvard Business School Case 303-003, March 2003. (Revised March 2004.)