Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser announced today that chief Laxman Narasimhan will step down from his role at the end of this month as he moves back to the US “for personal and family reasons”.
Narasimhan, who has been in the role since September 2019, will be replaced by current Senior Independent Director Nicandro Durante who will step into the role as the board scouts out a permanent leader of the FTSE 100 firm.
The Dettol and Durex maker said this morning that it had “begun the process to identify the best long-term candidate to take Reckitt on the next phase of its growth and transformation journey”.
Chairman Chris Sinclair said Laxman had led the firm through a “significant transformation” over the last three years.
“We wish him and his family all the very best as he fulfils his desire to return to the United States,” he added.
Durante said today he was “honoured to have an opportunity to lead Reckitt”.
“The transformation agenda Laxman and the Group Executive has led together is exciting and delivering results. I look forward to continuing the momentum,” he added.
Analysts raised concerns over the move today however, questioning whether Durante’s experience made him the right person for the role.
“Currently his replacement is Nicandro Durante, ex-CEO of BAT, who was a Senior Independent Director at Reckitt,” wrote RBC Capital Markets analyst James Edwardes Jones in a note.
“BAT was well-managed under his leadership however we can’t help but think that an ex-tobacco executive doesn’t seem well placed at the head of a company focused on consumer health.”