Laxman Narasimhan is a trusted leader who brings nearly 30 years of experience leading and advising global consumer good businesses. Known for his considerable operational and transformational expertise, he has a proven track record in developing and growing purpose-led brands.
Building on the rich and complex histories of storied companies like PepsiCo, Laxman is a consumer industry veteran who has succeeded in rallying talent to deliver on future ambitions by driving customer-centric and digital innovations. Prior to Starbucks, he served as chief executive officer of Reckitt, a multinational consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company, where he led the company through a major transformation and a return to sustainable growth. This included launching a company-wide effort to anchor Reckitt’s consumer brands in higher demand spaces, re-imagining some of the company’s most notable labels, introducing new customers to core brands that are critical to Reckitt’s heritage and history, and doubling the size of Reckitt’s e-commerce business since he took the helm. Laxman also led Reckitt through the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting the company’s frontline workforce and adjusting supply and production to meet the unprecedented high-demand for Reckitt’s products, outperforming expectations during one of the most complicated operating environments in recent years.
At Reckitt, Laxman reinvigorated the company’s ownership culture to better deliver on its purpose to protect, heal, and nurture in the pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. He maintained a commitment to servant-leadership throughout his tenure, launching initiatives such as the company’s efforts to drive better health and hygiene behavior in communities globally, and to enhance the sustainability of its operations.
Previously, Laxman served as an executive in various leadership roles at PepsiCo, including as global chief commercial officer, where he was responsible for the company’s long-term growth strategy and commercial capabilities. He also served as ceo of the company’s Latin America, Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa operations, where he ran the company’s food and beverage businesses across over 100 countries. He also spent time as ceo of PepsiCo Latin America and as the cfo of PepsiCo Americas Foods.
Prior to PepsiCo, he spent 19 years at McKinsey & Company, where he advised companies across the retail, consumer goods, and healthcare industries in the U.S., Asia, and India. Laxman co-led McKinsey’s Global Consumer and Shopper Insights Practice, co-led McKinsey’s Global Retail Knowledge Council, helped co-found McKinsey’s Branding Practice, and ran McKinsey’s Consumer Practices in Cleveland, the West Coast of the U.S., and India. Throughout his almost two decades at McKinsey, he supported clients including quick serve restaurants, grocery retailers, convenience retailers, and leading consumer food, goods, and health brands by developing strategies for performance improvement, advising on transactions for growth, and better aligning their corporate missions with their purpose to drive greater value.
Laxman speaks six languages and has experience working globally across the private sector, public sector and social sector. He is a trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Build Back Better Council and a member of Verizon’s Board of Directors.
He and his family have lived around the world, as he has worked across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, University of Pune, India. He also has a Master of Arts in German and International Studies from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Laxman’s preferred Starbucks beverage is a doppio espresso macchiato with hot skim milk on the side.