Cillit Bang owner Reckitt appoints Laxman Narasimhan as new chief

Consumer giant Reckitt Benckiser, which owns brands such as Cillit Bang and Durex, has announced the appointment of Laxman Narasimhan as its new chief.

Mr Narasimhan will take over as chief executive officer from departing boss Rakesh Kapoor in September.

He joins the company, which specialises in health and hygiene products, from PepsiCo, where he is currently the global chief commercial officer.

Mr Narasimhan, who will earn an annual salary of £950,000, will initially join as CEO-designate and be appointed to the board as an executive director on July 16.

He will then take over as group chief executive officer, while also leading the firm’s health business unit, from September 1.

The company said he will be tasked with delivering a strong performance, particularly in the firm’s health business arm, and driving the company’s reorganisation programme RB2.0, which has seen it separate its health and hygiene units.

Mr Kapoor revealed plans to hand over the reins at the company in January after eight years.

Prior to his current role, Mr Narasimhan led food and drink business PepsiCo’s operations in Latin America, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Before joining PepsiCo, he served as a director for management consultancy McKinsey & Company, spearheading its digital consumer research.

Chris Sinclair, chairman of the company board, said: “Laxman is an outstanding leader who brings wide experience across the consumer goods sector, both operationally at scale and from his time at McKinsey.

“He has led complex operational businesses and inspired teams across developed and emerging markets to achieve market-leading performance.

“Laxman has exceptional strategic capabilities and consumer insight with a proven track record in developing purpose-led brands and driving consumer-centric and digital innovation.”

Mr Narasimhan said: “I’m looking forward to working with an exceptional group of leaders over the coming years to continue to transform RB.”

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