Factbox: French food group Danone names new leaders

(Reuters) - Danone said on Monday that Emmanuel Faber would step down as chairman and CEO, replaced immediately by Gilles Schnepp as non-executive chairman, while Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant will serve as CEO and deputy CEO on an interim basis.

FILE PHOTO: A company logo is seen on a product displayed before French food group Danone's 2019 annual results presentation in Paris, France, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

The maker of Activia yoghurt faced growing calls from some shareholders to replace Faber, 57, who became chief executive in 2014 and chairman three years later.

To try to appease critics, Faber said in early March he would relinquish his role as CEO but stay on as chairman.

The following are short biographies of Danone’s new trio of leaders:


Schnepp, who joined Danone as a director late last year, has been appointed non-executive chairman with immediate effect. Born in Lyon in 1958, he graduated from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in 1981. He started his career in 1983 at Merrill Lynch France where he became vice-president.

In 1989, Schnepp joined French electrical equipment maker Legrand, where he held the positions of chairman and CEO from 2006 until 2018. He is also a member of the boards of Legrand, Saint-Gobain and Sanofi.


Currently chief executive officer international, Penchienati-Bosetta will serve as interim CEO. She began her career in 1989 in Hong Kong at Annick Goutal fragrances.

After holding several marketing positions at Procter & Gamble France, she joined Danone in 1999, serving as marketing director of Lu France, a brand that Danone sold in 2007 to Kraft Foods, and the group’s dairy products division. She became executive vice president of specialized nutrition in 2019.


Appointed interim deputy CEO, Grant is currently CEO North America. Born in New Zealand, he had spent almost 20 years with Coca-Cola Co before joining the group’s North American division in May last year.

Reporting by Charles Regnier and Federica Mileo in Gdansk