UK-based consumer goods heavyweight Reckitt Benckiser has snapped up PepsiCo man Laxman Narasimhan to be its new chief executive officer.

Narasimhan, who replaces the retiring Rakesh Kapoor in the role, was chief commercial officer at PepsiCo.

Reckitt Benckiser, which owns the US baby food business Mead Johnson, said this morning (12 June) Narasimhan will join the company as CEO-designate and be appointed to the board as an executive director effective 16 July. He will become group CEO with effect from 1 September.

Narasimhan has been a member of the PepsiCo executive committee for the last four years reporting to the chairman and chief executive. He leads on strategy, global category groups and global R&D.

At Reckitt Benckiser he will also also directly lead the health business unit.

Chris Sinclair, chairman of the Reckitt Benckiser’s board, said: “The board is delighted to have appointed Laxman as our new chief executive officer after a thorough and rigorous global selection process from a strong bench of internal and external candidates.”

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Narasimhan said: “I’m delighted to be joining RB as the next chief executive officer at an exciting time for the business. It is a special company with a long history of outperformance, creating innovative products and iconic brands which improve the health and lives of people across the globe. I’m looking forward to working with an exceptional group of leaders over the coming years to continue to transform RB.”