BART Becht has spent more than a decade at the helm of Reckitt Benckiser. During that time the value of the company increased five-fold and it has become one of the most profitable consumer goods businesses in the world under his stewardship. He took the role in December 1999 when Dutch detergent maker Benckiser and Britain’s Reckitt & Colman merged.
He is one of Britain’s biggest charitable donors, giving almost £110m of Reckitt shares to charity in 2009, after he collected more than £90m on the back of rising stock options. He has a mansion in Berkshire and is known for his hands-on approach. “After 16 years in the role, I believe now is the right time to retire,” Becht said.