Danone: directors split the positions of chief executive officer and chairman

Pressured by the shareholders of the group, the management of the Danone group decided on Monday March 1 to divide the function of CEO in two. Emmanuel Faber, current CEO, thus loses his duties as CEO but retains those of Chairman.

The Board of Directors splits the functions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Meeting on Monday March 1, 2021, Danone’s board of directors was to vote for the separation into two of the positions of chief executive officer and chairman. In the evening, by way of a press release, the administrators informed that the two posts would now be separate and the group would launch a search to hire a new CEO. Emmanuel Faber, who until now held the position of CEO, that is to say Chairman and CEO, loses his position of CEO.

Starting as Chief Executive Officer in 2014, then taking on the role of CEO in 2017, Emmanuel Faber was the first person outside the Riboud family to take over the management of Danone. Under pressure from shareholders, management was called upon to separate the functions of CEO and chairman but also to find a new line out of the Covid-19 crisis.

A dissociation under the impetus of the majority shareholders

Having entered Danone’s capital at the time of a drop in the value of the group’s share, two investment funds wanted the departure of Emmanuel Faber to be a condition for the group’s recovery and recovery. The third largest shareholder in the group, Artisan Partners, which owns 3% of Danone’s capital, called for “ take care of the board structure and management of the company “In order to allow the” reinvention »From Danone

Thus, the directors partially heard the complaints of their shareholders accepting the separation of the posts of CEO and chairman but unanimously refusing the interruption of Local First. A reorganization plan for Danone launched by Emmanuel Faber at the global level.

The group’s unions believe that it is dangerous to leave the group’s strategy in the hands of investment funds, as Bruno Largillière, CFDT coordinator, declares: “Whether it’s something, tartempion or contraption that manages the company, from the moment they apply the same policy that we have today, that suits us well. It is not the man we are defending, it is governance. We would not understand at all that it is called into question to bring more profit to the shareholders who arrive today, weigh only 3% and come to revolutionize the company