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Reckitt Benckiser picks Pepsi man Narasimhan to add fizz on £16m pay deal

Michael Bow
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Reckitt Benckiser picks Pepsi man Narasimhan to add fizz on £16m pay deal

Consumer giant Reckitt Benckiser named PepsiCo chief Laxman Narasimhan to replace outgoing boss Rakesh Kapoor on Wednesday on an annual pay deal worth around £16 million.

The 52-year-old multilingual Indian is Pepsi’s global chief commercial officer, reporting to chief executive Ramon Laguarta. He takes over Reckitt in September.

“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,” said Narasimhan.

Narasimhan’s package includes a £950,000 salary, a bonus worth £1.1 million and long term shares worth up to £14 million based on Wednesday's share price.

The long term payments are comprised of £4.8 million of shares and separately £9.6 million of options if the share price doubles.

Reckitt will buy Narasimhan out of his contract at PepsiCo, paying him compensation for long-term shares he would have received if he had stayed at Pepsi.

No figures were disclosed todaybut the payments will be revealed in future when the shares vest.

The size of the package may raise eyebrows given recent concessions on pay by Kapoor to stave off an investor revolt.

Narasimhan ran Pepsi’s European and Latin American operations before his current role.

That gave him control of around £14.5 billion in revenues, more than Reckitt’s £13 billion.

Before that he spent two decades at consultants McKinsey, spearheading work in India and emerging markets.

Kapoor revealed his plan to retire from Reckitt, which has brands like Nurofenand Dettol, in January.

He said he wanted to leave before 2020 to give someone the reins for the next decade.

Morgan Stanley said he was “a strong fit” for Reckitt.

“We believe he will bring a fresh perspective to both the business and to investors,” its analysts said.