Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After around eight years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Kapoor
  • Search for a successor
  • Kapoor said 102 words

(exechange) — Slough, United Kingdom, January 16, 2019 — Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, leaves. As announced by Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc in a news release on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Rakesh Kapoor leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the consumer goods company after around eight years in the role, effective by the end of 2019.

Rakesh Kapoor’s move comes nine months after Chris Sinclair took over as Chairman of Reckitt Benckiser Group plc.

Reckitt Benckiser will undertake a search for a successor.

Long goodbye

It is a long goodbye. The announcement of Rakesh Kapoor’s move comes up to 11 months prior to his planned departure from the post of CEO.

In general, a top executive who announces the departure very early may be considered a lame duck.

Lengthy lead times give boards extra time to find replacements, and they also create uncertainty. Would-be successors may jockey for attention and workers may wonder who is actually in charge.

Generally speaking, lame-duck leaders can take a forceful role in selecting a successor and are not expected to launch major shifts.

“Now is a good time for new leadership”

Rakesh Kapoor’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Rakesh Kapoor said: “2020 will herald a new decade and I believe now is a good time for new leadership to take this great company through the next phase of outperformance.”

Precise information regarding Rakesh Kapoor’s future plans was not immediately available.


Reckitt Benckiser said: “Rakesh Kapoor has indicated his intention to retire as CEO by the end of 2019, after more than 8 years as CEO and 32 years at the company.”

Share price decline

The management change announcement follows a decline in Reckitt Benckiser Group plc’s share price of 22 percent since May 2017.

Chaired by Chris Sinclair

Reckitt Benckiser Group plc is chaired by Chris Sinclair.

Sinclair was appointed as Non-Executive Director in February 2015 and Non-Executive Chairman in May 2018.

Sinclair is the former Chairman and CEO of Mattel, Inc.

In the position of CEO since 2011

Rakesh Kapoor has been Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc since September 1, 2011.

Kapoor joined RB in 1987 and served in various regional and central marketing roles.

Following the merger of Reckitt & Colman and Benckiser, he assumed the role of Senior Vice President, Home Care.

He was appointed SVP, Regional Director Northern Europe in 2001 and in July 2006, he was promoted to EVP, Category Development with responsibility for global category management, R&D, media, market research and strategic alliances.

Kapoor became CEO in September 2011.

As part of RB’s new strategy for sustainable outperformance, in January 2018 Kapoor was also appointed President of RB’s Health business, headquartered in Slough.


Generally speaking, when a top manager announces to step down with no successor available, it is a sign that the move was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that a manager was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to Reckitt Benckiser and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 3.2019 ($).