Danone has announced the appointment of Antoine de Saint-Affrique as chief executive officer, effective September 15. The decision of 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 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 was appointed as chief executive officer of Barry Callebaut in October 2015. From September 2011 to September 2015, de Saint-Affrique served as the president of Unilever Foods and a member of Unilever’s group executive committee, where he was accountable for businesses with a combined turnover of €12.4 billion.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique previously served as 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, de Saint-Affrique was executive vice president for Unilever’s Central and Eastern Europe region. Earlier, he was vice president of marketing and a partner at Amora Maille, a food company that was acquired under a leveraged buyout from the Danone Group.
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Gilles Schnepp, chairman of Danone’s board of directors says, “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.”