BRITAIN’S exporters are anxious to sell more to markets beyond the European Union. And of its big firms, few are more international than Reckitt Benckiser, a consumer-goods giant that earns an estimated 95% of its £9.9bn ($13.4bn) revenues outside its homeland. The maker of Cillit Bang cleaning spray, Nurofen painkillers and Durex condoms sells hundreds of brands of household products in over 200 countries. Yet a management shake-up at the firm has highlighted problems which suggest that it—and perhaps other consumer-goods firms—may find it hard to conquer new markets.
Reckitt’s difficulties came into the open on September 3rd, when it announced the departure of four of its top ten executives, including its heads of IT, personnel, marketing and developing markets. Their exit follows a string of disasters for the company over the past year. In January several current and former executives at Reckitt’s South Korean division were jailed after a…Continue reading