Narasimhan, PepsiCo's global chief commercial officer, will join RB as CEO-designate and be appointed to the board as an executive director effective July 16.   


BRITISH consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has named Indian origin Laxman Narasimhan to succeed Rakesh Kapoor as its chief executive officer (CEO).

Narasimhan, PepsiCo’s global chief commercial officer, will join RB as CEO-designate and be appointed to the board as an executive director effective July 16.

He will become group CEO with effect from September 1, RB said on Wednesday (12).

Narasimhan, 52, grew up in India. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from University of Pune, India. He also has an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Before joining PepsiCo in 2012, he spent nearly two decades working as a consultant at McKinsey.

With the latest move, the board selected first outside leader since it was formed in 1999 from the merger of Reckitt & Colman of the UK and the Dutch business Benckiser.

Narasimhan will serve as group chief executive officer at RB, while also directly leading the health business unit.

Narasimhan said: “I’m delighted to be joining RB as the next chief executive officer at an exciting time for the business. It is a special company with a long history of outperformance, creating innovative products and iconic brands which improve the health and lives of people across the globe…”

Chris Sinclair, chairman of the RB 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.”

Indian origin top executive joins RB from PepsiCo where he is currently the global chief commercial officer responsible for PepsiCo’s integrated long-term growth strategy. He leads strategy, global category groups, global research and development and is implementing an advanced digital capability across the PepsiCo business.