Reckitt Benckiser hires SSL marketing chief to drive Durex growth

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has appointed SSL group marketing director Volker Sydow to lead the integration and growth of recently acquired Durex and Scholl.


The FMCG company has just completed the £2.5bn acquisition of the brands’ owner, SSL, after disposing of two minor brands to satisfy European Union regulations.

Sydow has been appointed to the newly created role of global category director of sexual wellbeing and footcare. He takes responsibility for building global brand equity, accelerating growth and new product development.

Durex and Scholl join RB brands including Vanish, Clearasil and Dettol in its portfolio of 19 “superbrands”. These account for 70% of the FMCG company’s net revenue.

RB UK general manager Camillo Pane says: “Durex and Scholl will extend our list of powerbrands and we will start applying our strategy and business model to their operations. We plan to invest in supporting these brands as heavily as we have done for all the brands that RB owns.”

He adds that RB will continue to invest heavily in its health and personal care brands, its fastest growing category, and is always looking for opportunities to acquire brands that complement its existing business and offer future growth.

“New brands bring new ideas, new concepts and new ways to talk to our consumers, so we’re very excited about SSL.”

It has been reported that up to 40 SSL marketing jobs are at risk following the acquisition. RB, however, declined to comment while a consultation process is ongoing.

The company reported a 7% increase in sales to £2.1bn during the third quarter and a 14% increase in profit to £426m, boosted by higher marketing spend and product innovation.

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