Danone strengthens its leadership team


Paris, January 6, 2022 

Danone today completes its leadership team with three appointments at Executive Committee level: a Chief Operations Officer; a Chief Research, Innovation, Quality and Food Safety Officer; and a Chief Sustainability and Strategic Business Development Officer. Three globally recognized professionals – two from outside Danone and one internal – complete the leadership team and represent an important step in strengthening Danone’s execution and innovation, over the short and long-term.


The Chief Operations Officer, in charge of Cycles & Procurement, Manufacturing and Supply Chain, will further strengthen the performance of Danone’s operations. Vikram Agarwal joins Danone in this role, starting from January 2022, after a 33-year international career leading Procurement, Manufacturing and Supply chain functions in consumer goods. He will also be appointed End-to-end Design To Delivery coordinator.


The Chief Research, Innovation, Quality and Food Safety Officer will manage Danone’s science, innovation, quality and product superiority agenda across categories. Isabelle Esser will join the Company in this role, starting from April 2022, bringing more than 25 years of experience in leading Research & Development functions in consumer goods.


Finally, the Chief Sustainability and Strategic Business Development Officer will bring sustainability back to the heart of Danone’s business delivery and performance. He will also be in charge of identifying, assessing, and exploring new and sustainable growth opportunities, from geographic, category, and business model perspectives. This function will be led by Henri Bruxelles, currently Chief Operating Officer End-to-end Design To Delivery, starting from January 2022.


Antoine de Saint-Affrique, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The completion of the Danone’s Executive Committee team, in particular with the addition of two new senior executives recognized for their expertise, is an important step in bringing Danone back to what made it a unique company: a passion for brands and innovation and excellence in execution, all combined with a pioneering spirit in terms of sustainability. I am proud to lead such a team, characterized by its determination, passion and discipline.”



Vikram Agarwal brings over 33 years of international experience with global consumer goods companies. In a distinguished career spanning 30 years with Unilever, he led transformational local, regional and global roles, the most recent being Executive Vice President of the Africa Supply Chain. He was subsequently Chief Supply Chain Officer at Avon Products, playing an instrumental role in its successful turnaround. Until now he was leading business strategy for Dole Food & Beverages. Additionally, he associated closely with leading PE Funds on M&A projects. Vikram passionately believes that supply chains can play a pivotal role in generating business competitiveness to create value and drive growth. Besides being well-versed with most disciplines within the supply chain, he has a keen understanding of digitalization of Integrated Business Planning in large global supply chains and is an avid advocate of sustainability in operations. Born in India and now a UK resident, he is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from IIT in India, with a Certificate in Global Management from INSEAD. 


Isabelle Esser has 30 years of experience in consumer goods & B2B international companies in local, regional and global roles. Most recently, she was the Chief Human Resources Officer of Barry Callebaut, after a career of over 25 years in Research and Development at Unilever, where she last held the position of Executive Vice President R&D Foods Transformation in the Global Foods & Refreshment Division.  Isabelle Esser started her career as a scientist at Unilever Research & Development Port Sunlight Laboratory, UK, after which she served in various positions within Research & Development across the globe within the Foods as well as the Home & Personal Care business divisions. Throughout her career, Isabelle promoted and drove transformational changes through people, built capabilities enabling sustainable innovation from insights generated through consumer data and digital. She is passionate about sustainable nutrition, product innovation & solution and quality in brands. Engaged in the Diversity & Inclusion agenda for more than 20 years, she drove D&I in all her roles as a source of innovation. Isabelle holds a degree as ‘Ingénieur Civil en Sciences des Matériaux, Orientation Physique’ from Louvain-La-Neuve University in Belgium and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham in the UK.


Henri Bruxelles started his career at Danone in 1987 where he held several assignments in Marketing in Germany, France, Spain and Brazil. In 2002, he became VP Marketing of Danone France, before becoming the VP Marketing of the Dairy division in 2004, and Danone’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2008. In 2010, he was appointed General Manager of Danone Portugal and, in 2013, General Manager of Danone Argentina. In 2015, he became Regional Vice President Waters Latam. He joined the Executive Committee in October 2017 as EVP Waters & Africa. Since November 2020, he has been serving as Chief Operating Officer End-to-End Design to Delivery.

Composition of Danone’s Executive Committee

Reporting to Antoine de Saint-Affrique, Chief Executive Officer:

  -  Vikram Agarwal, Chief Operations Officer, End-to-end Design To Delivery coordinator

  -  Roberto di Bernardini, Chief Human Resources Officer

  -  Henri Bruxelles, Chief Sustainability and Strategic Business Development Officer

  -  Isabelle Esser, Chief Research, Innovation, Quality and Food Safety Officer (as of April 1, 2022)

  -  Juergen Esser, Chief Financial, Technology and Data Officer

  -  Shane Grant, Chief Executive Officer North America

  -  Nigyar Makhmudova, Chief Growth Officer

  -  Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta, Chief Executive Officer International

  -  Laurent Sacchi, General Secretary

  Reporting to Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta, Chief Executive Officer International:

  -  Charlie Cappetti, President CIS and Turkey

  -  Bruno Chevot, President Greater China and Oceania

  -  Silvia Davila, President Latin America

  -  Jean-Marc Magnaudet, President Specialized Nutrition

  -  Corine Tap, President Asia, Africa and Middle-East

  -  Floris Wesseling, President Europe

About Danone (www.danone.com)

Danone is a leading global 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). 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.

Press contact

Phone number: [tel:+33 1 40 70 11 89]

E.mail: danone@dgm-conseil.fr