PARIS — The board of directors of Danone SA decided to change the board’s composition following a July 28 meeting. The directors whose terms end next April decided not to seek the renewal of their mandates. The other directors, with the exception of the chairman and two directors representing employees, decided not to seek the renewal of their mandates as well.
It was not the first executive shakeup at Paris-based Danone this year. On March 14, Emmanuel Faber stepped down as chairman and chief executive officer and Gilles Schnepp was named independent chairman. On May 17, Antoine de Saint-Affrique was appointed CEO. Mr. de Saint-Affrique, who will join the company on Sept. 15, previously was CEO of Barry Callebaut.
The election of new directors will be proposed at the 2022 and 2023 shareholder meetings with the aim of creating a board with 12 members, including the two who represent employees. Fréderic Boutebba and Bettina Theissig represent employees currently.
“The overhaul of Danone’s board of directors will be completed in several stages by 2023, allowing the candidates to prepare for their future responsibilities as directors while enabling for an orderly transition,” Mr. Schnepp said. “From here on, we will focus on the next step of Danone’s governance evolution with two objectives: on the one hand, recruit new talent with strong international experience and sectorial expertise while ensuring the diversity and independence of the board of directors, and on the other, clarify the working principles of the board of directors within the new framework of separated governance.”
Franck Riboud, formerly chairman and CEO for Danone, has served on the company’s board since 1992. His current term ends next year.
“I am happy that a new cycle is beginning for Danone and the board,” he said. “My only aspiration remains to serve Danone as well as possible and to strongly support Antoine de Saint-Affrique in his work to put Danone back on its growth path. This board evolution will, I am sure, facilitate the implementation of his project. I, for certain, will obviously be keen to continue to assume the role of honorary president as it is envisaged at Danone.”