Reckitt chief quits in wake of £5bn deal

The European marketing director of Reckitt & Colman has left the company in the wake of its £4.8bn reverse takeover by Dutch rival Benckiser.

The European marketing director of Reckitt & Colman has left the company in the wake of its &£4.8bn reverse takeover by Dutch rival Benckiser.

Cinzia Morelli-Verhoog’s departure comes as the company restructures and invests more power in business unit heads rather than group marketing heads. However, the new group is increasing its ad spend by &£65m, up 25 per cent on 1998.

Morelli-Verhoog is the second senior woman executive to leave in recent weeks. Cheri Lofland, head of public relations, has also gone.

Under the merger, Reckitt acquired Benckiser and paid five Reckitt shares for every Benckiser share. But the deal, which brings together Reckitt products such as Harpic and Dettox with Benckiser’s Finish and Vanish, has put the Dutch company’s management in charge of the larger UK group.

The new company’s operations board is made up of senior Benckiser executives, including the group’s new chief executive Bart Becht. The company non-executive chairman is former Reckitt man Alan Dalby.

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