Proctor & Gamble is having difficulties. In July the 156 year old consumer products giant announced that it would be closing 30 of its 147 manufacturing facilities over the next three years and eliminating 13,000 jobs. One of the reasons for this massive downsizing, as described in the July 26, 1993, issue of Newsweek, is Proctor & Gamble's “proclivity for hanging on to outdated brands.” Coincidentally, in the same issue, Newsweek reported that Apple CEO John Sculley was forced to relinquish his position because the company posted a 1993 third quarter loss of $188 million. The loss and the soft market will force Apple to lay off 16 percent of its 13,000 employees. Some reasons for Apple's problems: soft sales of its primary products and increased competition from Microsoft's Windows. Both Apple and Proctor & Gamble temporarily neglected a traditional factor of marketing: products have life cycles that must be monitored if those products are to produce the required profits and return on investment.
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