FRANCE – Danone announces the appointment of former CEO of Barry Callebaut- a leading chocolate company based in Switzerland- Antoine de Saint-Affrique as Chief Executive Officer, effective September 15, 2021.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique will succeed the joint interim leadership of Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant.
The Board of Directors also decided to propose Antoine de Saint-Affrique as a new member to the Board of Danone for appointment at the next annual shareholders’ meeting in April 2022.
“As a Board we have delivered on our promise to search and find swiftly the best person to lead Danone through the next phase of our evolution,” Gilles Schnepp, Chairman, said.
“This marks a new chapter of leadership and a continuation of how we, as a Board, have been transitioning governance at the company for a few weeks already.”
Antoine de Saint-Affrique’s appointment is the culmination of a long search for CEO following the ouster of former Chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber.
Faber exit was engineered by Danone’s activist shareholders such as Artisan Partners and Bluebell Capital which explicitly requested the board to breakup the CEO and Chairman roles and to find a replacement.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique joins Danone from global chocolate maker and cocoa processor, Barry Callebaut, where he was appointed Chief Executive Officer in October 2015.
Prior to Barry Callebaut, Antoine de Saint-Affrique held a series of senior executive positions at global consumer goods company Unilever, where he notably led the Foods division.
“I am proud and honored to join and soon lead a company which has always been an inspiration for me. I have tremendous admiration for Danone’s rich heritage and pioneering spirit in all fieldsand its strong and unique people culture which respects both diversity and inclusivity,” Antoine de Saint-Affrique said.
“I believe Danone has significant potential to continue to shape and contribute to how people eat and drink globally, and I am looking forward to, together with all Danoners, the Executive Committee and the Board, writing our next chapter of growth and further progressing Danone’s Mission.”
With more than 100,000 employees, and products sold in over 120 markets, Danone generated €23.6 billion in sales in 2020.
Danone’s portfolio includes leading international brands such as Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Aptamil, Danette, Danio, Danonino, evian, Nutricia, Nutrilon, Volvic, among others.
The French dairy company also boasts of strong local and regional brands (including AQUA, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Horizon Organic, Mizone, Oikos, Prostokvashino, Silk, Vega).
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