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RB Press Release - 14/04/11
Bart Becht to retire as Chief Executive Officer
Rakesh Kapoor of RB to be appointed as new CEO

The Board of Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB) today announces the retirement of Bart Becht as CEO and is pleased to announce the appointment of Rakesh Kapoor as CEO designate. Rakesh Kapoor has a 25 year career with RB and is currently executive vice president global category development at RB and an Executive Committee member

Rakesh Kapoor becomes CEO effective 1 September 2011 with Bart Becht staying on as part time adviser to Rakesh and the Board until September 2012 to ensure a smooth transition.

Rakesh Kapoor joined RB in India in 1987 and was appointed to the Executive Committee in 2006 to lead the two key drivers of RB's continued above industry-average growth – its global Powerbrand strategies and innovations. Prior to this Rakesh had a highly successful career in RB, including leading the UK and Northern Europe business to the best financial performance these businesses have ever delivered. He has extensive experience of the household, health and personal care categories, and an intimate knowledge and understanding of consumers and retailers in both developing and developed countries.

Having led the pan-European and largest health care business in RB, when also leading Northern Europe, he was one of the architects of the Boots Healthcare International acquisition in 2006 which transformed RB into a global consumer health care company. He has been equally involved in the recent SSL and Paras India acquisitions.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Adrian Bellamy, Chairman, said:

“The Board is delighted that someone of Rakesh Kapoor’s calibre is able to step into the role of CEO. His close involvement in the drivers of success at RB and significant achievements to date are reassurance that the excellent performance for which RB has become renowned is set to continue.

“Consistent with its succession plan, the Board was unanimous in its choice of Rakesh as he has the necessary drive, strategic thinking and operational experience coupled with a more than intimate understanding of and capability to improve RB's financial performance and earnings model. He is supported by an excellent team of senior executives.”

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Bart Becht for his outstanding contributions to Reckitt Benckiser at its helm and the performance delivered over the last 16 years. It is testament to his leadership that we are so well placed in terms of succession and depth of senior management strength.”

Commenting on today’s announcement, Bart Becht, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“I am honoured to have been CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, and to have had the opportunity to work with such an entrepreneurial, talented and innovative group of people who have created what I believe is the leading global home, health and personal care company. After 16 years in the role, I believe now is the right time to retire. We have the strongest senior management cadre we have ever had, our new CFO has bedded-in excellently and our SSL integration is on track and by September will be all but completed.”

“It gives me great pleasure to see Rakesh as the new CEO of RB. He has an outstanding track record of performance over many years, with broad experience across developing and developed markets, and all categories. I have seen his considerable leadership and commercial skills in operation and he will be a strong leader for RB in the future.”

Rakesh Kapoor, CEO designate, also commented: “I am delighted to take on this role and very much look forward to leading the business to its next stage of growth and performance, supported by an excellent senior management team.”

- ENDS - 

Adrian Bellamy will host a conference call for investors and analysts today to discuss this announcement, details of which are as follows:

Conference call title: Reckitt Benckiser Announcement
Date: Thursday 14th April
Dial-in number: +44 (0)20 7162 0125
Freephone number: 0500 551088 (UK only)
Time: Dial-in available from 15:50 (UK) for a 16:00 (UK) start)
Replay: Available until 28th April
Replay number: +44 (0)20 7031 4064
Freephone number: 0800 358 1860 (UK only)
Access code:  893410 

Notes to Editors:

Biographical Details

  • 2006-11: Reckitt Benckiser – EVP Category Development
    2006, appointed to the Executive Committee as executive vice president for global category development, which includes global marketing, R&D, market research, product design, marketing strategy, media and digital marketing. Accountable for two key drivers of RB's continued above industry average growth – the global Powerbrand strategies and innovations. During his tenure Powerbrands have grown from 57% of RB’s annual net revenue (sales) to 69% in 2010. Over the same period an average of over 30% of net revenue has come from innovations launched in the last 3 years; an industry leading performance.

    In addition to driving organic growth he has been intimately involved in the selective M&A activity of recent years, culminating in the recent SSL and Paras India health care acquisitions.

  • 2001-06: Reckitt Benckiser – SVP Regional Director Northern Europe & European Heath Care
    Appointed to the newly created Northern Europe region which included P&L responsibility for UK, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries. To this was added full P&L responsibility for total Europe health care.

    Grew the business unit by a double digit CAGR and significantly enhanced its earnings model, taking it to one of the largest and most profitable businesses in RB.

    In his role as leader of European health care – then the largest health care operation in the business – he was one of the architects of the Boots Healthcare International acquisition and integration, which set RB as a global consumer health care company.

  • 1999-2001: Reckitt Benckiser plc – SVP – Global Category Officer Home Care – headquarters (UK)
    Upon the merger, Rakesh was appointed global category marketing leadership home care – first comprising pest control and then air care and shoe care.

  • 1997-99: Reckitt & Colman plc – A Global Marketing Director – headquarters (UK)
    A global head office role supporting the creation of a global category organisation and portfolio strategy.

  • 1996-97: Reckitt & Colman – Vice President Marketing India and Regional Marketing Director – South Asia
    Promoted to regional marketing director for South Asia.

  • 1994-96: Reckitt & Colman – General Manager – Southern India
    General manager Reckitt & Colman Southern India, with P&L accountability. India at that time was split into four separate businesses. He turned it into the best performing business for the company in India

  • 1991-94 Reckitt & Colman – Marketing Manager Personal Care, India
    Promoted to marketing manager for personal care in the North India business.

  • 1987-91 Reckitt & Colman – Regional Sales Manager – Northern India
    First role in RB; regional sales manager Northern India.

  • 1982-87 Network Ltd, part of Hindustan Computers Ltd. – India
    Information technology start up. Set up a new office which he grew to be the second biggest office with a staff of 25 and was promoted to the strategic business unit head of the company’s services group.

    Masters in Business Management (MBA) from XLRI, Jamshedpur, India.
    BE (Hons) Chemical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India.
    The Modern School, New Delhi

    Married with two children. Lives in Buckinghamshire, conveniently located for RB’s Slough Head Office and Heathrow Airport. A keen football and cricket follower he is an accomplished Bridge player and enjoys reading and music.

About Reckitt Benckiser (RB)
Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a world leader in household, health and personal care.

It is a FTSE top 25 company and since 2000 net revenues have doubled and the market cap has quadrupled. Today it is the global No 1 or No 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation – typically about 35% of net revenue comes from innovations launched in the prior 3 years. It has a strong portfolio led by 19 global powerbrands which are: Finish, Lysol, Dettol, Vanish, Woolite, Durex, Calgon, Airwick, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Veet, Nurofen, Clearasil, Strepsils Gaviscon, Mucinex, Scholl and French’s, and they account for 69% of net revenue.

RB people are at the heart of the company’s success. They have an intense drive for progress and action and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in CSR where the company has the most ambitious corporate responsibility programme in the industry through its Carbon 20 initiative.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, the company employs about 27,000 people worldwide, with operations in over 60 countries and sales in almost 200 countries.

For further information, please contact:

Reckitt Benckiser 
+44 (0)1753 217800

Joanna Speed
Director, Investor Relations

Andraea Dawson-Shepherd
SVP, Global Corporate Communication & Affairs

Brunswick (Financial PR) 
+44 (0)20 7404 5959

David Litterick / Teresa Bianchi

Rakesh Kapoor 

Rakesh Kapoor
CEO Designate
(becomes RB CEO 1st September 2011)
  • Lysol
  • Mucinex
  • Frenchs
  • Airwick
  • Nurofen
  • Vanish
  • Durex
  • Clearasil
  • Dettol
  • Cillet Bang
  • Strepsils
  • Scholl
  • Gaviscon
  • Mortein
  • Woolite
  • Veet
  • harpic
  • Calgon
  • Finish

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