- Current Reckitt chairman Chris Sinclair has held the position for five years
- Darroch is set to become chair after Reckitt’s next annual general meeting
- Reckitt said Sir Jeremy ‘has a proven track record of being a successful CEO’
Former Sky boss Sir Jeremy Darroch will become chairman of Dettol-maker Reckitt Benckiser next year.
Darroch will become chair of the consumer goods giant – owner of Durex and Cillit Bang – following its annual general meeting in May, with Chris Sinclair retiring after six years in the role.
Sir Jeremy Darroch has been appointed the next chairman of Reckitt Benckiser
He was appointed a non-executive director of the consumer goods giant 12 months ago after spending nearly two decades in senior roles at Sky, first as head of finance before being promoted to chief executive in 2007.
During his 14-year tenure as CEO, the media conglomerate expanded significantly by buying up its sister companies in Italy and Germany, launching the streaming service Now TV, and diversifying into original drama productions.
The company’s market capitalisation had nearly trebled by the time it was bought by Comcast for £30.6billion in 2018, having staved off a second full takeover attempt by Rupert Murdoch’s News International.
Darroch earned a reported £38.3million from the sale, taking his total compensation since taking over to £115million.
Reckitt said Darroch was ‘an outstanding leader, with considerable expertise in the consumer retail environment built up over a successful career at some of the UK’s most high-profile companies’.
It added: ‘He has a proven track record of being a successful CEO and driving business performance and a unique insight into what motivates consumers.’
Current Reckitt chairman Sinclair has held the position for five years, having previously been the chair and CEO of Mattel, the toy manufacturer behind Barbie, and drinks giant Pepsi-Cola.
Since joining Reckitt, the group’s annual revenues have jumped by around £3billion due largely to the Covid-19 pandemic boosting demand for cleaning brands like Lysol and Dettol.
Although disinfectant sales have slowed following the end of lockdown-related restrictions, orders for over-the-counter medicines, such as Strepsils and Lemsip, have recovered significantly.
Trading also benefited from an infant formula shortage in the United States last year when Reckitt was allowed to ship its formula products from manufacturing plants in Mexico and Singapore.
Sinclair said: ‘Reckitt is a strong, well-invested business that is fully focused on enhancing returns to shareholders.
‘It also has a unique culture that has made my time with the Reckitt team extremely fulfilling, and I am delighted to be handing over to Sir Jeremy Darroch.’
Reckitt’s appointment of a new chairman follows former chief customer officer Kris Licht’s promotion in October to chief executive as a replacement for interim head Nicandro Durante.
Last month, the company also announced a £1billion share buyback programme alongside results showing like-for-like turnover increased by 3.4 per cent in the third quarter thanks to price hikes offsetting inflationary pressures.
Reckitt Benckiser shares were 0.3 per cent, or 16p, up at £55.12 on early Wednesday afternoon.