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New CEO appointed at Reckitt Benckiser

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LONDON — Bart Becht is retiring as chief executive officer of Reckitt Benckiser Group, and Rakesh Kapoor had been named to succeed him.

Bart Becht is retiring as chief executive officer of Reckitt Benckiser Group, and Rakesh Kapoor had been named to succeed him.

The consumer products giant said Thursday that Kapoor, currently executive vice president of global category development and an executive committee member, will begin as CEO on Sept. 1, with Becht staying on as a part-time adviser to Kapoor and the company’s board until September 2012 to assist with the leadership transition.

"I am honored to have been CEO of Reckitt Benckiser and to have had the opportunity to work with such an entrepreneurial, talented and innovative group of people who have created what I believe is the leading global home, health and personal care company," Becht said in a statement. "After 16 years in the role, I believe now is the right time to retire. We have the strongest senior management cadre we have ever had, our new CFO has bedded-in excellently and our SSL integration is on track and by September will be all but completed.

"It gives me great pleasure to see Rakesh as the new CEO of RB," he added. "He has an outstanding track record of performance over many years, with broad experience across developing and developed markets, and all categories. I have seen his considerable leadership and commercial skills in operation, and he will be a strong leader for RB in the future."

A 25-year company veteran, Kapoor joined RB in India in 1987 and was appointed to the executive committee in 2006. Reckitt Benckiser said he has extensive experience in the household, health and personal care categories, having led the company’s United Kingdom and Northern Europe business, and was one of the architects of the Boots Healthcare International acquisition in 2006, which transformed the company into a global consumer health care player. He has also been involved in the recent SSL and Paras India acquisitions.

"I am delighted to take on this role and very much look forward to leading the business to its next stage of growth and performance, supported by an excellent senior management team," Kapoor stated.

Reckitt Benckiser’s portfolio of consumer brands includes Finish, Lysol, Dettol, Vanish, Woolite, Durex, Calgon, Airwick, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Veet, Nurofen, Clearasil, Strepsils Gaviscon, Mucinex, Scholl and French’s.

Chairman Adrian Bellamy commented, "The board is delighted that someone of Rakesh Kapoor’s calibre is able to step into the role of CEO. His close involvement in the drivers of success at RB and significant achievements to date are reassurance that the excellent performance for which RB has become renowned is set to continue.

Bellamy added, "On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Bart Becht for his outstanding contributions to Reckitt Benckiser at its helm and the performance delivered over the last 16 years. It is testament to his leadership that we are so well-placed in terms of succession and depth of senior management strength."