Newell Rubbermaid ( NWL) Chief Executive Joseph Galli resigned "by mutual agreement" with the company's board and is set to be replaced on an interim basis by former Procter & Gamble ( PG) executive Mark Ketchum.

The Atlanta-based housewares maker also said Monday that its third-quarter earnings will meet or exceed its projections, and it reiterated its full-year forecast.

Galli had been Newell Rubbermaid's chief executive since January 2001. The company, which is in the midst of a cost-cutting plan and moving its focus toward high-margin brands, said it is searching for a new CEO with "proven track records executing programs that drive top-line growth, strengthen brands, encourage innovation and reduce costs across large organizations."

P&G's Ketchum, a Newell Rubbermaid director since early this year, will take the helm in the meantime. Ketchum retired from P&G in late 2004 as the consumer products giant's president of global baby and family care.

Newell Rubbermaid, which makes products ranging from Sharpie pens to Calphalon cookware, said third-quarter earnings should be at the high end or above its previous forecast, which called for earnings from continuing operations of 33 cents to 37 cents a share, before charges. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call have an average estimate for third-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, before items.

Newell Rubbermaid also affirmed its projection for full-year earnings, before items, of $1.43 to $1.48 a share. Wall Street expects 2005 earnings of $1.47 a share.

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