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Reckitt CEO to leave after eight years capped by setbacks

[LONDON] Reckitt Benckiser Group chief executive officer Rakesh Kapoor plans to step down by the end of the year after the UK consumer-goods giant struggled to recover from a series of setbacks.

The maker of Lysol air fresheners and Nurofen painkillers said its board has begun a formal process to name a successor and is considering internal and external candidates.

The move follows a disastrous 2017 in which Reckitt Benckiser was hit by a cyberattack, botched product introductions and other problems. Last year the woes continued with a manufacturing glitch in the company's infant nutrition business.

Mr Kapoor, who is 60, is the latest of several titans of the consumer-goods business to retire, after Unilever's Paul Polman yielded his post as CEO following a decade at the helm. Mr Kapoor has been CEO at Reckitt Benckiser for about eight years.

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Mr Kapoor oversaw the acquisition of infant formula maker Mead Johnson and split Reckitt into two parts, one focused on health, the other on home-care and other brands, in a move that prompted speculation about a possible eventual breakup.