Starbucks appoints outgoing Reckitt Benckiser chief as its next CEO

Laxman Narasimhan’s departure from the FTSE 100 maker of Gaviscon and Cillit Bang surprised the City when it was announced yesterday after just three years in charge, sending shares down by as much as 6%. The stock rebounded by 2% on Friday to 6410p.   

Speculation was rife that the US executive, who joined Reckitt from PepsiCo, was headed home for another top job. It was proved right with the announcement from the world’s largest coffee chain, made overnight.

Narasimhan’s total pay and pension package for 2021 at the Slough-based firm was around £6 million. His new post, which he takes up in April in Seattle, pays $1.3 million (£1.1 million) in salary and a bonus worth up to $2.6 million, as well as a signing bonus of $1.6 million. He will work there from October alongside Starbuck’s founder, Howard Schulz, who has been its interim CEO since March after the retirement of Kevin Johnson from the top job.

Reckitt is looking for a long-term replacement, having appointed its senior independent director, Nicandro Durante, as interim CEO. Durante ran British American Tobacco for eight years until 2019. He has been on Reckitt’s board since 2013.

A total of 17 FTSE 100 CEOs have announced their plans to step down so far in 2022.

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