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Our Governance

At Danone, governance is an integral part of our corporate structure and operations — a long-term commitment rooted in shared responsibility.

GOVERNANCE THAT ADDS VALUE

At Danone, governance is an integral part of our corporate structure and operations — a long-term commitment rooted in shared responsibility. It organises the relationships between the various company bodies. Governance includes all of the procedures, rules and structures that are used to ensure the transparency of the company’s operations and the balance of power between shareholders, Directors, executives, employees, suppliers and customers.

Governance is vital to sound management and its role is strategic, ensuring not only regulatory compliance but also the vitality of the business model, its vision and its ambitions. For Danone, governance is based on the implementation of an effective decision-making process, on steering involving all of the company’s stakeholders and on a system of assessment.

It is structured around three basic principles:

  • efficient corporate governance through an expert, independent and diverse Board of Directors,
  • health and nutrition governance that reflects Danone’s priorities and ambitions in these areas, and
  • social governance that firmly places Danone’s social and societal responsibility at the heart of its management and strategy.

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITEE

Sharing the same vision, driving the same strategy

EMMANUEL FABER

CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

Bertrand Austruy

General Secretary

Bertrand Austruy

General Secretary

Born in 1973, in France

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

General Secretary as of January 1, 2015

Arrived at Danone : 2001

Personal background – experience and expertise

Bertrand Austruy began his career in 1997 as a business attorney in Paris.

In 2001, he joined Danone's Fresh Dairy Products France unit as General Counsel, before being appointed General Counsel Asia-Pacific in 2003. In 2007, he returned to France as General Counsel International Business and Partnerships. In 2010, he was named General Counsel of the company.

In January 2014, Bertrand Austruy was appointed General Counsel and Vice President Product Compliance and Food Safety.

Since January 2015, he is General Secretary and member of the Executive Committee.

Marc Benoît

Executive Vice President Human Resources

Marc Benoît

Executive Vice President Human Resources

Born April 8th, 1964

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

Executive Vice President, Human Resources, as of 2014

Arrived at Danone: July 2007

Personal background – experience and expertise

Marc Benoit graduated from HEC and holds an MBA from Mc Gill University (Montréal).

He began his career in the marketing department of Renault UK in 1987. In 1989, he moved to Henkel and held various positions in Germany and in France before becoming General Manager, Detergents, for France and the Benelux. He then served as General Manager of DIAM Group Europe, a world leader in luxury goods merchandising.

Marc Benoit joined Danone in 2007 as General Manager of Blédina. He was appointed Regional Vice-President, Southern Europe in 2008, and in 2009 became Regional Vice-President Baby Nutrition, Mediterranean Region.

Since January 2014, Marc Benoit is Executive Vice President Human Resources and was appointed to the Executive Committee.

Cécile Cabanis

Chief Financial Officer

Cécile Cabanis

Chief Financial Officer

Born in 1971, in France

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

Chief Financial Officer, as of January 1, 2015

Arrived at Danone: 2004

Personal background – experience and expertise

Cécile Cabanis began her career in 1995 with L'Oréal in South Africa as Logistics Manager and Financial Controller before moving to France as Internal Auditor. In 2000, she was appointed Deputy Director Mergers & Acquisitions at France Télécom.

In 2004, she joined Danone as Corporate Finance Director. In 2005, she was appointed Business Development Director and in 2008 became Vice-President Finance Dairy Western Europe.

Since September 2010, Cécile Cabanis was Vice-President Finance, Fresh Dairy Products division.

Since January 2015, she is Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee.

Francisco Camacho

Executive Vice President Waters

Francisco Camacho

Executive Vice President Waters

Born April 10, 1965, in Mexico

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

Executive Vice-President, Waters, as of 2011

Arrived at Danone: 2000

Personal background – experience and expertise

Francisco Camacho holds a degree in Computer Engineering and an MBA from Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico. He started his career at Procter & Gamble where he rose through a series of marketing positions in Mexico and Latin America. In 1998, he joined Revlon and held senior management positions in Venezuela, Chile, Brazil and Mexico.

In 2000, Francisco Camacho joined Danone as head of Bonafont, the Waters division subsidiary in Mexico. He was in charge of Evian North America in 2002 and Danone Argentina in 2004, and in 2007 became General Manager of the region comprising Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. In 2009, he managed Latin American business for the Fresh Dairy Products division.

Since 2011, Francisco Camacho is Executive Vice-President for the Waters division and member of the Executive Committee.

Lorna Davis

Chief Manifesto Catalyst

Lorna Davis

Chief Manifesto Catalyst

Born on November 15, 1959, in South Africa

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

Chief Manifesto Catalyst, as of June 1, 2015

Arrived at Danone: 1997 

Personal background – experience and expertise

After beginning her career at Unilever, Lorna Davis held various senior business development positions. She joined Danone in 1997 as Managing Director of Griffins Foods in New Zealand before becoming Regional Vice-President of Biscuits for the United Kingdom and Ireland (Jacobs Bakery and Irish Biscuits).

In 2003, Lorna Davis was appointed Vice-President for Danone’s global topline acceleration "Growth Too" project. She was later appointed President for Danone Biscuits in China, and subsequently to the sale of Danone’s biscuits division to Kraft Foods (now Mondelez) in 2007, she became President of Kraft China. She is joining Danone back from Mondelez, where her latest assignment was President North America for Biscuits (Nabisco), after having held the role of Senior Vice-President of Global Biscuits.

Lorna Davis serves on the Board of Directors of AB Electrolux.

Since June 2015, she is Chief Manifesto Catalyst of Danone and member of the Executive Committee.

Pascal de Petrini

Executive Vice President Strategic Resources Cycles

Pascal de Petrini

Executive Vice President Strategic Resources Cycles

Born on February 8, 1960, in Algeria

Business address:

7 Scotts Road, #10-00 Goldbell Towers – 228233 Singapore

Function:

Executive Vice-President, Strategic Resource Cycles, as of June 15, 2015

Arrived at Danone: 1984 

Personal background – experience and expertise

Pascal De Petrini started his career in 1984 as Industrial Engineer at Danone Dairy France. In 1995, he was appointed Supply Chain Director of LU France and then, in 1998, General Manager of the Biscuit activity in China.

In 2002, he was appointed General Manager of ERP THEMIS and, in 2004, General Manager of Aqua Indonesia and subsequently Regional Vice-President Waters Asia-Pacific. In 2008, Pascal De Petrini was appointed Regional Vice-President Early Life Nutrition Asia Pacific in addition to his Waters responsibilities.

He joined Fraser & Neave in 2011 as CEO Food & Beverage, prior to become, within Fonterra, Managing Director Asia Pacific Middle East & Africa in 2013.

Since June 2015, he is Executive Vice-President, Strategic Resource Cycles and member of the Executive Committee.

Bridgette Heller

Executive Vice President, Early Life Nutrition

Bridgette Heller

Executive Vice President, Early Life Nutrition

Born on August 30, 1961, in the United States

Business address:

Schipol Boulevard 105, 1118 BG Schipol - The Netherlands

Function:

Executive Vice-President, Early Life Nutrition, as of July 1st 2016

Arrived at Danone: July 2016

Personal background – experience and expertise

Bridgette Heller started her career at Kraft Foods in 1985. She spent seventeen years in the company, including Executive Vice President and General Manager for the North American Coffee portfolio. In 2005, Bridgette Heller joined Johnson & Johnson as Global President for the Baby Global Business Unit. Ultimately Bridgette Heller became Executive Vice President & President, Consumer Care, for Merck & Co in 2010.

Bridgette Heller is an American citizen. She received an MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and received her B.A. from Northwestern University.

Flemming Morgan

Executive Vice-President, Medical Nutrition

Flemming Morgan

Executive Vice-President, Medical Nutrition

Born on September 29, 1955, in Great-Britain

Business address:

Schipol Boulevard 105, 1118 BG Schipol - The Netherlands

Function:

Executive Vice-President, Medical Nutrition, as of September 2006

Arrived at Danone: April 1999

Personal background – experience and expertise

Flemming Morgan graduated from the University of Edinburgh and the INSEAD

He started his career in 1979 within the Marketing and Sales divisions of Coats Viyella in Scotland, Chile and Ecuador. In 1983, he joined British American Tobacco where he became the Netherlands’ General Manager starting 1992, and then Argentina’s General Manager in 1994. He started at Coca-Cola in 1997 as Deputy Division President of Coca-Cola Andean and then as General Manager of Coca-Cola in Venezuela before becoming Vice President & General Manager of Minute Maid Greater Europe in 1999.

He first joined Danone in 2000 as General Manager Dairy in Germany and Austria before being appointed General Manager of Danone in Africa and Middle East in 2001.

Flemming Morgan rejoined Danone with the acquisition in 2007 of Royal Numico N.V., a company he had entered in September 2006 as General Manager Medical Nutrition.

Since February 2009, Flemming Morgan is Executive Vice-President, Medical Nutrition, and part of the Executive Committee of Danone.

Jean-Philipe Paré

Executive Vice-President, Research and Development

Jean-Philipe Paré

Executive Vice-President, Research and Development

Born on August 12, 1957, in France

Business address:

Danone Research, Avenue de la Vauve, 91120 - Palaiseau – France

Function:

Executive Vice-President, Research & Development, as of 2011

Arrived at Danone: December 1981

Personal background – experience and expertise

Jean-Philippe Paré is a graduate of Paris business school ESCP.

He began his career in marketing and sales with Danone's Fresh Dairy product division in France, before moving on to LU France. In 1997, he was named General Manager of LU Spain, in 1999 General Manager of Bagley SA in Argentina, and then, in 2002, General Manager of HP Foods in the UK. In 2005, he was appointed General Manager of LU France and kept this position with Kraft Foods in 2007. He became President of Kraft Foods France in June 2010.

Since May 2011, Jean-Philippe Paré is Executive Vice-President, Research & Development and member of the Executive Committee.

Pierre-André Térisse

Executive Vice President Africa

Pierre-André Térisse

Executive Vice President Africa

Born on April 26, 1966, in France

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 - France

Function:

Executive Vice-President, Africa, as of January 1, 2015

Arrived at Danone: June 1990 

Personal background – experience and expertise

Pierre-André Térisse graduated from EM Lyon.

He started his career at Danone in 1990, where he held various positions in Treasury and Financing, at Panzani (Lyon), Danone Finance Benelux (Brussels, Belgium), and Galbani (Milan, Italy). In May 1994, he was appointed Head of financing & treasury of Danone Asia, covering Asia Pacific, and contributed to the development of the company in this region.

He came back to Europe in July 1998 to join LU, as controller of one of its biscuits factory in France, and then moved in November 1999 to Danone's headquarters as Corporate Finance Director. In this position, he implemented various structured financing transactions, and contributed to the evolution of Danone's financing policy.

In June 2003, he joined Altadis as group head of treasury and financing. He structured the group's debt and risk management, in a context of external growth and internationalization of the group. In July 2006, he became Chief Financial Officer, based in Madrid, and as such, was actively involved in the merger with Imperial Tobacco.

In March 2008, Pierre-André Térisse was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Danone and member of the Executive Committee.

Since January 2015, he is Executive Vice-President, Africa.

Gustavo Valle

Executive Vice President Fresh Dairy Products

Gustavo Valle

Executive Vice President Fresh Dairy Products

Born in 1964, in Argentina

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 - France

Function:

Executive Vice-President, Fresh Dairy Products, as of January 1, 2015

Arrived at Danone: 1996 

Personal background – experience and expertise

After starting his career at various companies in Argentina, Gustavo Valle joined Danone in 1996 as Financial Controller, then Finance Director of Danone Argentina.

In 2002, he was named General Manager of Danone Waters Argentina; in 2004, General Manager of Danone Dairy Brazil; and in 2009, General Manager of Dannon US.

After successfully leading the development of Danone's Dairy business in Brazil and in the United States, Gustavo Valle was serving since January 2014 as Executive Vice President Fresh Dairy Products Europe.

Since January 2015, he is Executive Vice-President, Fresh Dairy Products and member of the Executive Committee.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

A place for exchange and strategic leadership


Danone’s Board of Directors is appointed by the shareholders and consists of 15 members tasked with supervising the management of the company and contributing to its strategic direction. To carry out its mission, the Board of Directors must be expert, independent and diverse in its composition.

As of April 28, 2016:

Composition of the board of directors

As of April 28, 2016 the 15 members of the board of directors are:

 

 

Independence

A 77% rate of independence: between 2010 and 2015, the Board of Directors’ rate of independence increased from 43% to 77%. Danone rigorously applies all the criteria of the AFEP-MEDEF Code with regard to the independence of its Directors: “a Director is considered to be independent when he/she has no relationship of any type with the Company, its Group or its management that could compromise his/her ability to freely exercise his/her judgment”. Today, the rate of independence of Danone’s Board of Directors is much higher than that recommended by the AFEP-MEDEF Code (which is 50%).


The ten Independent Directors are:


Bruno Bonnell, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Jean Laurent, Gaëlle Olivier, Benoît Potier, Mouna Sepehri, Jean-Michel Severino, Virginia Stallings, Serpil Timuray et Lionel Zinsou-Derlin.

 

The five Directors who are not considered to be independent are:


Emmanuel Faber in his capacity as CEO of Danone;

Franck Riboud in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Danone;

Marie-Anne Jourdain and Bettina Theissig in their capacity as Directors representing Danone's employees;

Isabelle Seillier, an executive with the J.P. Morgan Chase banking group, one of the banks with which Danone regularly does business. Various measures have been put in place to ensure that the company is able to manage any potential conflict of interest linked to Isabelle Seillier’s responsibilities.

 


Modification in the Board of Directors'composition as of 29th April 2015


The Board of Directors includes a Lead Independent Director, Mr. Jean LAURENT, who was appointed by the Board of Directors on February 18, 2013 upon recommendation of the Nomination and Compensation Committee.

As its meeting on 19th February 2015, given Jean Laurent's record as Lead Independent Director, the Board of directors decided to extend his appointment as Lead Independent Director.

The Board of Directors of February 19, 2015, upon the recommendation of the Nomination and Compensation Committee, also acknowledged the wish of Mr. Richard Goblet d'Alviella not to seek renewal of his term.

In addition, the April 29, 2015 Shareholders’ Meeting approved the appointment of Mrs Serpil Timuray as new member of the Board of Directors for the three-year period set forth in the by-laws.