Faber steps down at Danone

Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/ AFP/Getty Images

Emmanuel Faber will step down as chairman and CEO of Danone, its executive board has announced. As a consequence, it has appointed Gilles Schnepp as chairman of the board with immediate effect. Second, the board has decided to appoint Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta, currently CEO International, and Shane Grant, currently CEO North America, to jointly lead the business while the search for a new CEO is underway. Penchienati-Bosetta (CEO) and Grant (deputy CEO) will work together, with a focused attention on operational execution and delivery, the company says.

The immediate priority of the new chairman, together with the board, will be to lead the transition, including the search for a new CEO. Danone has appointed an international search agency to support the process. Schnepp and the governance committee will oversee the search.

The move comes after shareholder pressure from activist investors, according to the Irish Times. Faber had come under pressure in recent years as sales and margin growth underperformed rivals.

Gilles Schnepp, chairman of Danone, says, “I am honoured to be appointed as chairman of the Board of Danone at this important time for the company. I have tremendous regard for Danone’s history and its contribution to society through its world leading healthy food and beverages and commitment to sustainability. The priority of the voard is now to transition towards an improved governance. This means accelerating the process to recruit a new CEO, while Veronique and Shane continue to lead the business during this period.

“The board and I want to thank Emmanuel for his leadership and significant contributions to Danone since 1997, and since 2014 as CEO and then chairman and CEO. His vision and commitment to One Planet. One Health are ahead of the industry and have ensured that Danone is a world leader on sustainability. He leaves Danone with a strong platform from which to accelerate and grow. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Danone employees around the world that continue to work to grow and build the business for all consumers, customers and stakeholders.”

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