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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

Executive Vice President, Human Resources and General Secretary

Bertrand Austruy

Executive Vice President, Human Resources and General Secretary

Born in 1973, in France

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

General Secretary as of January 1, 2015

and Executive Vice President Human Resources, as of March 1st 2017

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.

In March 2017, besides his role as General Secretary, Bertrand Austruy has been appointed EVP, Human Resources.

 

Cécile Cabanis

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Strategy and Information Systems

Cécile Cabanis

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Strategy and Information Systems

Born in 1971, in France

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

Chief Financial Officer, as of January 1, 2015

and Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Information Systems, as of March 1st 2017

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.

Cécile Cabanis joined Danone in 2004, and has served in a range of key positions in finance, including Corporate Finance Director, then head of Business Development. In 2010 she was appointed Vice President Finance for the Fresh Dairy Products division.

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

In March 2017, besides her responsibility as EVP Chief Financial Officer, and Strategy, Cécile Cabanis takes the leadership for Information Systems and Information Technology (IS/IT), as well as the responsibility for Danone Business Services (One Danone).

Cécile Cabanis is also member of the board of Directors and Audit Committee of Schneider Electric

 

 

 

Francisco Camacho

Growth & Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President, Waters

Francisco Camacho

Growth & Innovation Officer and 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

and Growth & Innovation Officer, as of March 1st 2017

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.

In March 2017, besides his responsibility for the Waters category, Francisco Camacho  is appointed Growth & Innovation Officer and takes the leadership of a new integrated team that will bring together R&D, Quality, Innovation, Digital, Marketing and Customers’ relationship.

 

 

Lorna Davis

Chief Manifesto Catalyst and Non-Executive Chairwoman of DanoneWave

Lorna Davis

Chief Manifesto Catalyst and Non-Executive Chairwoman of DanoneWave

Born on November 15, 1959, in South Africa

Business address:

17, boulevard Haussmann – 75009 Paris – France

Function:

Chief Manifesto Catalyst

and Non-Executive Chairwoman of DanoneWave

Arrived at Danone: 1997 

Personal background – experience and expertise

After beginning her career at Unilever, Lorna Davis held various senior business and marketing positions in South Africa, Australia and the UK.

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) and Scandinavia and Nordics.

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.

Lorna served on the Board of Electrolux for 6 years.

She rejoined Danone from Mondelez, where she held the role of Senior Vice-President of Global Biscuits.

Her latest assignment with Mondelez was President North America for Biscuits (Nabisco).

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

Lorna Davis is Non-Executive Chairwoman of DanoneWave, which combines the North America Danone Dairy business and North American legacy WhiteWave.

 

Bridgette Heller

Executive Vice President, Early Life Nutrition and Advanced Medical Nutrition (as of mid-2017)

Bridgette Heller

Executive Vice President, Early Life Nutrition and Advanced Medical Nutrition (as of mid-2017)

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

and Executive Vice-President, Advanced Medical Nutrition, since July 1st, 2017

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.

She serves on the Board of Directors of TechData Corporation.

Bridgette Heller also has responsibility for the Advanced Medical Nutrition category since mid-2017.

 

Pierre-André Térisse

Executive Vice President, Access and Africa

Pierre-André Térisse

Executive Vice President, Access and 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

and Executive Vice-President Access, as of March 1st 2017

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. He also acted as a sponsor of the "Nature" stream initiated by the company, leading the reduction of Danone carbon intensity by 40% in 5 years. And he contributed to the changes of governance of Danone, in his additional function as secretary of the board of directors. 

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

From March 2017, aside from his responsibility as EVP for the Africa Strategic Business Unit, Pierre-André Térisse takes the leadership of all Danone businesses in India. He designs and implements Danone’s strategy of accessibility through sustainable business solutions (including danone.communities).

Pierre-André Térisse keeps acting as a non-executive chairman of Livelihoods, a societal carbon fund initiated by Danone and joined by 10 other investors. 

 

Gustavo Valle

Executive Vice President, Ressources Efficiency and Fresh Dairy Products

Gustavo Valle

Executive Vice President, Ressources Efficiency and 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

and Executive Vice-President, Resources Efficiency, as of March 1st 2017

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 appointed Executive Vice-President Fresh Dairy Products Europe in January 2014.

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

In March 2017, in addition to his Dairy business responsibility, Gustavo Valle has taken charge of the new Resources Efficiency function that brings together strategic cycles management: Operations, Sourcing and Efficiencies. He manages the efficiency program (“Protein”).

Following closing of the WhiteWave transaction, Gustavo Valle has taken leadership of the legacy WhiteWave businesses in Europe, Latin America, and China and in other geographies, excluding Noram, which will join forces with the Danone Dairy Division.

 

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 nine Independent Directors are:


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;

Bettina Theissig and Fréderic Boutebba 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.