Reckitt Names Kris Licht As New Chief Executive

By Reuters
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Reckitt Names Kris Licht As New Chief Executive

Reckitt has named company insider Kris Licht as its new CEO, to succeed Nicandro Durante, and said he will take up the role by the end of the year following a transition period.

Licht, who has served as president of Reckitt's health business and chief customer officer since July 2020, will be appointed to the company's board as an executive director, effective June 1.

Durante, who previously held the role of CEO with BAT, will stay with Reckitt until December to ensure a smooth transition.

'A Pivotal Role'

"Having played a pivotal role in both the transformation strategy and the significant turnaround of our Health GBU over the last three years, Kris is the right leader to take Reckitt on the next stage of its exciting journey," Durante said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Kris to deliver a seamless and uninterrupted transition.”

Prior to joining Reckitt, Licht also worked for PepsiCo in a variety of roles, and is a previous partner at McKinsey.


Read More: Former Reckitt Boss Narasimhan Named New Starbucks CEO

Sales Performance

The company also reported better than expected quarterly like-for-like sales as the maker of Durex condoms and Lysol cleaning products hiked prices to make up for cost inflation and declining volumes.

Group like-for-like net revenue was up 7.9% in the first quarter of its financial year, with its Hygiene arm seeing a 2.0% increase, its Health business rising by 12.5%, and its Nutrition arm seeing net revenue growth of 11.9%.

Reckitt said it now expects like-for net revenue growth of 3% to 5% for the year, "underpinned by our well supported and exciting innovation programme, a resilient supply chain and ongoing executional improvements," Durante added.


Analyst Viewpoint

Commenting on the group's performance and Licht's appointment, analyst Russ Mould of AJ Bell said, “The FTSE 100 revolving door keeps spinning, this time with Kris Licht announced as the new chief executive of Reckitt. Interestingly this is an internal promotion, meaning there should be a continuation of the existing culture in the business.

“Reckitt has made plenty of mistakes in the past, including being too greedy with pricing, being slow with product innovation and overpaying for baby formula maker Mead Johnson in 2017.

“Licht was instrumental in helping to put the health business back on track and his task will now involve making the whole group more efficient and to drive up profit margins.

“At the moment Reckitt has been passing on extra costs to the customer via higher prices but volumes have been declining, illustrating how many people have been trading down from popular brands to supermarket own-label items which are more affordable. If economic conditions continue to be tough around the world, there is a risk to Reckitt this trend remains intact.”

Read More: Reckitt Sees Sales Marginally Beat Full-Year Estimates

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM – your source for the latest A-Brands news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.
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