PARIS – Danone SA is making changes to its business to adapt to a global market disrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep pace with its strategic goal of 3% to 5% profitable growth. Management changes include two new “macro-regional” chief executive officers, a new chief operating officer and a new chief financial officer.
Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant have been appointed macro-regional chief executive officers of Danone International and Danone North America, respectively. They are charged with maximizing operational excellence and local execution, according to the company.
Henri Bruxelles has been appointed COO of end-to-end design to delivery, a new position within the organization. Mr. Bruxelles will be responsible for research and development, procurement, operations and quality for the company.
The company also announced that Cecile Cabanis will retire from her role as executive vice-president of finance, technology and data, cycles and procurement in February 2021. She will be replaced by Juergen Esser, who is currently CFO of Danone’s Waters and Africas divisions.
Management also said it is starting a review of assets where performance is not aligned with the rest of the business. The review will be ongoing, but start with the company’s operations in Argentina and the Vega brand. Combined, the businesses represent approximately €500 million ($589 million) in sales.
Vega Foods was acquired in 2015 by WhiteWave Foods, which subsequently was acquired by Danone in 2017. The company was founded in 2004 and focuses on plant-based foods made with such ingredients as sprouted whole grain brown rice and pea protein, chia and hemp seeds, organic peanut butter, and such vegetables as spinach, broccoli and kale.