June 12, 2019 / 7:47 AM / a month ago

BUZZ-Reckitt Benckiser: Shares slip after outsider named CEO

** Shares of British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc fall 1.5%

** Co named PepsiCo executive Laxman Narasimhan as its next chief executive officer, to succeed Rakesh Kapoor

** Narasimhan’s initial priorities will be to boost performance, especially in the health business, and to drive the Lysol maker’s plan to split into two separate business units, co says in a statement

** Analysts at RBC attributed share decline to Narasimhan’s “limited CEO experience”

** “Appointment of a new, external CEO is bound to raise questions regarding the timing of the end of the group’s RB 2.0 plan and whether it will ultimately lead to a split of the company,” Liberum says

** “In our view, the appointment is unlikley to materially change the strategic direction of the company but could slow down any event such as a sale or spin-off of the Hygiene Home unit,” the brokerage adds

** “RB has opted for an outsider for CEO which should flush out the immediate questions of whether Narasimhan will be able to get to grips and then meaningfully evolve and whether he will view a margin reset as desirable,” Jefferies says (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru)

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