After spending more than a decade building Reckitt Benckiser Group into a household-products powerhouse, Chief Executive Bart Becht said he will retire later this year.
I will continue to be passionate about the business until August 31, he said on Thursday
The news surprised shareholders and drove the company shares down by 7.5%. The worry was visible in the market Thursday. In London Reckitt’s shares fell 251 pence to 3,115 pence. Reckitt’s steep decline sliced roughly $3 billion off the company’s value, which now totals $37 billion.
Becht will be succeeded by Rakesh Kapoor who has been with Reckitt since 1987 and currently sits on the group’s executive committee as executive vice-president of global category development.