News: Danone’s new chairman says will stick to organisational changes.
PARIS (Reuters) – Danone will be tracking some of the organizational changes initiated by former boss Emmanuel Faber, newly appointed chairman Gilles Schnepp said in a letter to shareholders ahead of the appointment of a new chairman.
Faber was abruptly ousted as chairman and CEO of yogurt maker Activia after a nightly board meeting on Sunday after arguing with some board members over strategy and being told by activist funds to step down because of the group’s poor returns compared to some rivals.
A plan called “Local First” to reorganize Danone around regional hubs rather than brands had caused some setbacks internally, sources previously told Reuters and was also challenged by Danone’s activist shareholders.
Schnepp, who previously ran electrical group Legrand and joined Danone’s board of directors in December before being named chairman over the weekend, said directors backed the plan, which was first outlined by Faber in November.
“We want to make it clear that this is just an organizational framework that gives the new CEO the leeway to design and implement his strategy,” said Schnepp in the letter to investors that was posted on the website late Wednesday before April 29th was published by Danone Annual General Meeting.
Schnepp said in the letter that Danone was looking for an outside candidate to be CEO after the company appointed an interim duo to manage operations.
The new chairman said Danone remained more committed to the group’s focus on the partnership between financial performance and social and environmental goals.
He added that Danone would reduce the number of board members, including Faber, to 16.
Schnepp made similar comments to employees in an internal video, Le Figaro newspaper reported Thursday, quoting him as saying that Danone’s broader strategic roadmap will not change.
Danone declined to comment on the video.
Reporting by Sarah White and Blandine Henault; Letter from Matthieu Protard; Adaptation by David Goodman and Barbara Lewis
Original Source © Reuters