Reckitt Benckiser shares fell by more than 6% in early trading on Thursday after CEO Bart Becht said he was to step down after 16 years at the helm.

Becht will be succeeded on 1 September by Rakesh Kapoor, currently executive vice president of global category development. Kapoor joined the Vanish and Cillit Bang maker in 1987 and is a former head of Reckitt's UK & Northern Europe arm.

"The board was unanimous in [choosing] Rakesh as he has the necessary drive, strategic thinking and operational experience coupled with a more than intimate understanding of RB's financial performance and earnings model," said chairman Adrian Bellamy.

Becht the highest-paid boss of a FTSE 100 company in 2009, raking in more than £90m said now was "the right time to retire".

"We have the strongest senior management cadre ever, our new CFO has bedded in excellently and our integration of SSL is on track and by September will be all but completed."