Last Wednesday, Reckitt Benckiser announced that Rakesh Kapoor, the chief executive of the company, is set to retire at the end of the year. The announcement prompted the firm to launch a formal search for its next boss.
The maker of Clearasil and Nurofen said that it is considering both internal and external candidates to succeed Kapoor. The shares of the company dropped by three percent on the news.
Kapoor stated: “It has been a huge privilege to lead RB and I am very proud of the hard work and commitment of our people in delivering our success and many achievements.”
He added: “2020 will herald a new decade and I believe now is a good time for new leadership to take this great company through the next phase of outperformance.”
By the time that he retires, Kapoor will have spent eight years as the head of Reckitt Benckiser, serving a total of 32 years at the company.
Chris Sinclair, the chairman of the board of the company, stated: “Under Rakesh’s leadership, RB has been transformed from a household cleaning business to a world leader in consumer health and hygiene.”
He described the outgoing boss as a “visionary” and “architect” behind this transformation. He stated: “On behalf of the board, I want to express our appreciation for his vision, passion and leadership over his long and distinguished tenure.”
However, some analysts were less complimentary regarding the outgoing boss, who split the business of the group into separate divisions – one for its home and cleaning products and the other for healthcare.
An investment director at AJ Bell, Russ Mould, stated: “News that Rakesh Kapoor is to stand down as chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser shouldn’t come as a surprise given how the business has floundered over the past year or two.”
He added: “If he is leaving of his own free will then he’s not exactly departing when everything is going well.”
The consumer goods conglomerate has faced various challenges in the past two years, including that from a major cyber attack that wreaked havoc with its systems and factory disruption at Mead Johnson, its baby formula-maker, the high profile $17.9 billion (£13.91 billion) acquisition of Kapoor.