...By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser has ended its eight-month search for a permanent CEO with the appointment of Kris Licht, who is currently the president of the company’s health business and has been chief customer officer since July 2020.
Licht, who is also a former employee of PepsiCo, will take up his role as CEO by the end of the year, succeeding Nicandro Durante, who took over as interim CEO after the shock departure of Laxman Narasimhan in September 2022.
Licht will be paid £1.1m ($1.5m) a year in salary, plus pension contributions, a bonus plan and share options.
Durante has committed to working closely with Licht during the transition period, and will remain in place until December 2023.
Reckitt has reported like-for-like revenue of nearly £4bn in the first quarter of 2023, up almost 8% and significantly ahead of the expected 3.6% rise.
The company has predicted growth for the full year in the 3% to 5% range, which could help to ease fears that consumers are trading down from well-known brands at a time of inflation.
The appointment of Kris Licht as Reckitt Benckiser’s next CEO is a significant step for the consumer goods company after a period of uncertainty following Laxman Narasimhan’s departure in 2022.
Licht’s experience in the health business and as chief customer officer is likely to be of great benefit to the company, as is his previous role at PepsiCo.
His salary package reflects the importance of his position and the confidence the company has in him to take the business forward.
Reckitt’s better-than-expected revenue figures in Q1 2023 are a positive sign for the company and could help to allay concerns about consumer behaviour during a period of inflation.
The predicted growth of 3% to 5% for the full year is encouraging and suggests that Reckitt’s brands are continuing to appeal to customers.
The company’s commitment to sustainability is also likely to boost its appeal to consumers who are increasingly looking for ethical and environmentally responsible products.
Overall, Reckitt appears to be in a strong position for the coming months and years under Kris Licht’s leadership.