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Danone names 3 deputy CEOs to head top divisions

Danone has appointed three deputy CEOs. The yogurt and water producer said the restructuring will improve its decision-making, execution and growth.

The France-based food and beverage maker said Shane Grant, Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Juergen Esser will report to Danone’s CEO, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, to drive its Renew Danone strategy.

“The appointment of three Group Deputy CEOs with proven expertise and leadership will enable us to further enhance our excellence in execution and better elevate our capabilities and category expertise across the company,” De Saint-Affrique said in a statement.

Danone is largely built around major categories such as plant-based milk and yogurt, traditional dairy, water and specialized nutrition. The executive appointments will allow the company to prioritize growing and innovating in these core categories and the regions in which they operate. 

Shane Grant, the current CEO of North America, will oversee Latin America and be responsible for Danone’s global dairy and plant-based division and its global customer and commercial leadership.

Danone also said Penchienati-Bosetta, currently CEO of its international operations, will be responsible for China, North Asia and other parts of the globe. She will head the company’s specialized nutrition and waters categories as well as its global marketing and digital segments. 

Juergen Esser, currently its chief financial, technology and data officer, is being appointed CEO in charge of these categories.

De Saint-Affrique, who previously held the top post at chocolate maker Barry Callebaut, took over as CEO at Danone in September 2021. Before his arrival, Danone, whose brands include Activia yogurt, plant-based Silk and Evian water, struggled with a stagnant share price and pressure on many of its key businesses.

Just six months after taking over, De Saint-Affrique rolled out its Renew Danone platform to would improve performance in troubled offerings such as Horizon Organic and traditional dairy, invest more in winning products such as yogurt brand Oikos and create value by selling existing brands or buying new ones. 

At the time, he said there were “no sacred cows” and that the dairy giant will “keep pruning” its portfolio as it aims to boost growth. Last July, Danone boosted its annual revenue growth forecast amid strong demand for baby food and bottled water.

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