Danone has announced an overhaul of its current board of directors, clearing the way for its new CEO after an executive shake up earlier this year.
The decision to change the board’s current composition comes after a meeting on 28 July and will see nearly all of its members replaced gradually over the next two years.
The directors whose terms end in April 2022 have decided not to seek renewal of their mandates. The remaining directors – with the exception of the chairman and the two directors representing employees – have also decided not to seek the renewal of their mandates.
The election of new directors will be proposed at Danone’s 2022 and 2023 shareholder meetings, with the entire board overhaul completed by 2023 with a total of 12 members.
The revamp forms part of the transition initiated earlier this year on the governance framework, in which Danone separated the functions of chairman and CEO following pressure from shareholders.
This led to Emmanuel Faber stepping down from both roles within the space of two weeks; and the appointments of Gilles Schnepp as chairman and former Barry Callebaut boss Antoine de Saint-Affrique to CEO. At the next shareholder’s meeting, the board will propose the candidacy of de Saint-Affrique as a director.
Danone says its composition renewal programme aims to serve the company’s performance and mission for the future. The owner of Evian and Activia released its second quarter results on the same day, reporting a return to growth across all categories.
Frank Riboud, former chairman and CEO and son of Danone founder Antoine Riboud, will be stepping down next April after serving on the board since 1992. “I am happy that a new cycle is beginning for Danone and the board,” he said.
He continued: “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.”
Danone chairman, Gilles Schnepp, added: “From here on, we will focus on the next step of Danone’s governance evolution with two objectives: …recruit new talent with strong international experience and sectorial expertise while ensuring the diversity and independence of the board of directors; and…clarify the working principles of the board of directors within the new framework of separated governance.”
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