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Press release – Paris, May 17, 2021
Danone appoints Antoine de Saint-Affrique as Chief Executive Officer
Danone announces the appointment of Antoine de Saint-Affrique as Chief Executive Officer, effective September 15, 2021. The decision of tonight’s Board followed a rigorous selection process led by the Governance Committee. 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.
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.
Gilles Schnepp, Chairman, said:
“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. 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. We unanimously agree that Antoine de Saint-Affrique is a standout leader in the consumer goods world. He has a distinguished track record of innovation and delivery. Importantly, he brings the right blend of strategic vision, international consumer goods experience, and operational execution skills to Danone. The Board is confident that Antoine, together with the rest of the leadership team, will deliver sustainable value for shareholders, and all our stakeholders. Antoine’s proven ability to successfully deliver a purpose-led growth strategy in a sustainable way fits well with our Mission and long-term goals. He will have all the room and resources a CEO can have to best assess and direct Danone’s strategy for the future. In welcoming him, I would also like to thank Veronique and Shane, on behalf of the Board, for their diligence and support in the joint interim leadership of the company they will hold until September 15.”
Antoine de Saint-Affrique said:
“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 fields: its strong and innovative portfolio of brands that have brought health through food to people around the world for so long; the dual social and economic project which has been at the heart of the company’s purpose for decades; and its strong and unique people culture which respects both diversity and inclusivity. 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.“
Antoine de Saint-Affrique (born 1964) is Chief Executive Officer of Barry Callebaut and was appointed to that role as of October 1, 2015.
From September 2011 to September 2015, Antoine de Saint-Affrique served as President Unilever Foods and Member of Unilever’s Group Executive Committee, where he was accountable for businesses with a combined turnover of €12.4 billion.
Prior to this, Antoine de Saint-Affrique was Executive Vice President of Unilever’s Skin category – an area of the business which includes leading brands such as Dove, Lux, Lifebuoy and Pond’s. From 2005 to 2009, Antoine de Saint-Affrique was Executive Vice President for Unilever’s Central and Eastern Europe region – an area covering 21 countries. Before rejoining Unilever in 2000, Antoine de Saint-Affrique was Marketing Vice President and a Partner at Amora Maille, a foods company which was acquired under a leveraged buyout from the Danone Group.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique has lived in Africa, the US, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom. He served as a reserve naval officer between 1987 and 1988.
He is a member of the board of directors of the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce and a non-Executive Director at Burberry PLC, a FTSE 100 company.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique has a degree in Business Administration from ESSEC Business School (1987), and a qualification in executive education from Harvard Business School. Since 2004, he has led the Marketing course at Mines ParisTech (Corps des Mines).
About Danone (www.danone.com)
Danone is a leading multi-local food and beverage company building on health-focused and fast-growing categories in 3 businesses: Essential Dairy & Plant-Based products, Waters and Specialized Nutrition. With its ‘One Planet. One Health’ frame of action, which considers the health of people and the planet as intimately interconnected, Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices. To accelerate this food revolution and create superior, sustainable, profitable value for all its stakeholders, Danone has defined nine 2030 Goals, and paved the way as the first listed company to adopt the “Entreprise à Mission” status in France. With a purpose to bring health through food to as many people as possible, and corresponding social, societal and environmental objectives set out in its articles of association, Danone commits to operating in an efficient, responsible and inclusive manner, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. By 2025, Danone aims to become one of the first multinational companies to obtain B Corp™ certification. 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 (Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Aptamil, Danette, Danio, Danonino, evian, Nutricia, Nutrilon, Volvic, among others) as well as strong local and regional brands (including AQUA, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Horizon Organic, Mizone, Oikos, Prostokvashino, Silk, Vega). Listed on Euronext Paris and present on the OTCQX market via an ADR (American Depositary Receipt) program, Danone is a component stock of leading sustainability indexes including the ones managed by Vigeo Eiris and Sustainalytics, as well as the Ethibel Sustainability Index, the MSCI ESG Indexes, the FTSE4Good Index Series, Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and the Access to Nutrition Index.