Switch off the panic button until the figures are in

Elizabeth Fournier
WITH Becht’s departure following that of finance chief Colin Day last year, it’s not surprising that the market is spooked. The company is now without the core team that led it so successfully through the last decade.

The £2bn man – that’s how much the markets marked down the firm when they learnt of Becht’s departure – will be a tough act to follow.

There’s no doubt that replacement Rakesh Kapoor has a lot to prove, and until he’s had a chance to get his feet under the table the share price could be dampened. But 25 years at the company must count for something, and management will be hoping that next week’s first-quarter figures will boost morale and restore value.

Nestle’s market cap fell by £4bn when its finance chief Paul Polman was passed over to take charge in 2007, but the shares quickly recovered and long-term performance has been strong.

Don’t hang Reckitt out to dry just yet.