British consumer goods major Reckitt Benckiser (RB) on Wednesday announced the appointment of PepsiCo executive Laxman Narasimhan as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Narasimhan will succeed Rakesh Kapoor in the role. Kapoor will end an eight-year stint at the the top of RB that also saw a cyberattack, manufacturing glitches and other woes gripping the company, ending the consumer products giant’s run as an investor favourite.
Narasimhan is currently PepsiCo’s global Chief Commercial Officer responsible for the cola giants’ integrated long-term growth strategy. He will join the Reckitt Benckiser as the CEO-designate and be appointed to the Board as an Executive Director effective July 16, 2019 and will become the Group CEO with effect from September 1, 2019, the company said in a statement.
Narasimhan has been a member of the PepsiCo executive committee for the last four years, reporting to the Chairman and Chief Executive. He leads strategy, global category groups, global R&D and is implementing an advanced digital capability across the PepsiCo business.
In his new role at RB, Narasimhan will serve as group CEO, while also directly leading the health business unit. His initial priorities will be to focus on delivering outperformance, especially in the health business unit, and to drive RB 2.0. Prior to his stint at PepsiCo, Narasimhan served as a Director for McKinsey & Company.
Narasimhan is a mechanical engineering graduate from the College of Engineering, University of Pune. He also has masters degrees in German and International Studies from the Lauder Institute in University of Pennsylvania and is an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School in University of Pennsylvania.
Apart from three Indian languages and English, Narasimhan speaks fluent German and conversational Spanish. He is a trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was previously an advisory board member of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Centre at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
As CEO of the RB group, Narasimhan will receive a salary of 950,000 pound. He will receive a pension allowance of 10 per cent of salary in line with the wider RB workforce in the UK, and other benefits in line with RB policy, including shares in the company. He will be eligible to participate in the company’s existing annual bonus plan with a target of 120 per cent of salary.