VA Secretary Nominee an ‘Expert at Making Organizations Better,’ Obama Says

President Obama on Monday officially tapped the former leader of Procter & Gamble to take over the scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs.

Robert McDonald served for five years as an Army officer before a 30-plus year career at Procter & Gamble, leading the company from 2009 to 2013, according to his company biography. Mr. Obama said his business background at such a large company makes him qualified to handle the 340,000-employee bureaucracy at the department.

“He knows the key to any successful enterprise is staying focused on the people you’re trying to serve,” Mr. Obama said. “He understands that grand plans are not enough, what matters are the operations you put in place and getting the job done. Bob is an expert at making organizations better.”

The president asked the Senate, who is on a week-long break for the Fourth of July, to confirm Mr. McDonald as soon as possible.

Several investigations at the VA have found systemic problems of employees cooking the books to make wait times appear shorter, securing bonuses for themselves while denying veterans timely care. Reports showed more than 57,000 veterans across the healthcare system have been waiting more than 90 days for an appointment, after the initial discovery of 1,700 vets on a secret wait list in Phoenix VA earlier this year launched the widespread investigation.