WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's pick to head the crisis-hit Department of Veterans Affairs vowed Monday to transform health care for America's returned war veterans following a string of recent scandals.
Obama formally nominated ex-Procter & Gamble boss Bob McDonald to turn around the beleaguered agency and succeed former secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned in May amid a political storm over a cover-up about delayed health care for veterans.
"You've made it clear what you expect: a VA that is more effective, more efficient and that truly puts our veterans first," McDonald said as he appeared alongside Obama.
"If confirmed by the Senate, my priority would be to lead that transformation." McDonald, a graduate of the West Point military academy, worked for Procter & Gamble for 33 years and rose from an entry-level position to lead the firm.
As CEO, he oversaw more than 120,000 employees of the company with operations around the world, selling products in more than 180 countries in more than 2.5 million stores and reached more than five billion customers.
Obama said that McDonald possessed the organizational acumen to pull the department out of its current slump, and called on the US Senate to confirm him quickly.
"We're here today because of problems that have outraged us all," Obama said.
"That includes the inexcusable conduct that we've seen at too many VA health care facilities."