Dettol and Gaviscon owner Reckitt Benckiser slashes chief exec's pay

Oliver Gill
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There have been protests against Reckitt Benckiser in South Korea over its humidifier steriliser products (Source: Getty)

The boss of consumer group Reckitt Benckiser had his 2016 pay slashed by 39 per cent after a South Korean safety scandal hit the firm's performance.

Rakesh Kapoor, Britain's third best paid chief exec in 2015, will get £14m in 2016. This compared with his £23m pay packet 12 months earlier.

Reckitt, known for its Durex and Dettol brands among others, said in its annual report that Kapoor would be stripped of half of his long-term incentive plan and not receive any bonus for 2016.

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The impact of FTSE 100 firm's takeover of Mead Johnson will be removed from its boss' 2017 incentive plan.

In 2015, the South Korean government said 92 people had died in connection with humidifier steriliser (HS) products sold by several companies including Reckitt.

"2016 has been a difficult year in RB’s long and otherwise successful history," Reckitt's remuneration committee chair Judy Sprieser wrote in the annual report.

"Whilst acknowledging that the events occurred before the tenure of the current chief executive, the committee has considered the HS issue in the context of pay decisions for 2016.

"Reckitt Benckiser’s strong financial performance over the last three years has created over £18bn of value for our shareholders.

However, in the context of the HS issue, the remuneration committee considered it appropriate to exercise discretion to reduce the payout levels.

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With reports some of the UK's best paid execs are facing shareholder revolts over remuneration for the second year running, Sprieser said she hoped the firm could count on the support of shareholders. She added:

In the remuneration committee reaching the decisions outlined above, I have had extensive discussions with shareholders and I am grateful for the time taken to engage on these issues and the feedback provided throughout the process which has been reflected in the decisions that have been made.