Corporate Profiles - 2021 - 72

COMPANY OVERVIEW
Danone SA
D
anone SA succumbed to investor pressure
in 2021 and created a new governance
structure that separated the chief executive
officer and chairman of the board roles. In
addition, former chairman and CEO Emmanuel
Faber left and Antoine de Saint-Affrique took
over as CEO.
Mr. de Saint-Affrique joined Danone from
global chocolate maker and cocoa processor Barry
Callebaut, where he was CEO since 2015. Previously,
he held senior executive positions at Unilever,
where he led its food division as president
from 2011 to 2015.
Mr. Faber was chairman and CEO of Danone
since 2017.
Danone's board of directors also is undergoing
change. It was announced following a
meeting in July that directors whose terms end
in April 2022 will not seek the renewal of their
mandates. Other directors, except the chairman
and two directors who represent employees,
also chose to not seek renewal.
The election of new directors will be proposed
at the 2022 and 2023 shareholder meetings with
the aim of creating a board with 12 members,
including the two who represent employees, according
to the company.
The leadership and structural changes were
New leadership building a strategy for growth
prompted by uneven performance in 2020 that
has carried over to 2021. Net income for the first
half of 2021 was €1.07 billion ($1.26 billion),
equal to €1.63 ($1.92) per share on the common
stock, and a slight improvement over the previous
year when the company earned €1 billion, or
€1.55 per share.
First-half sales fell 3% to €11.8 billion
($13.99 billion).
In November 2020, the company announced
sweeping reorganization plans to reduce internal
complexity and remove layers of management
to make the company more efficient. The plan
will reduce costs by $1.19 billion by 2023 and
lead to the elimination of 1,500 to 2,000 jobs.
Danone also is reducing the number of stockkeeping
units it produces and strategically reviewing
its portfolio.
In July, the company sold Vega to WM Partners,
an Aventura, Fla.-based private equity investment
fund focused on the health and wellness industry.
The terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 2001, Vega is a North American
brand offering 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. The brand offers a range of
powders for daily nutrition, sports nutrition and
functional wellness.
Danone acquired Vega in 2017 through its
$12.5 billion purchase of WhiteWave Foods.
Earlier in 2021, Danone acquired Earth Island,
Los Angeles, a manufacturer of plant-based products
sold under the Follow Your Heart brand. Terms
of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Product applications sold by Earth Island
include Veganaise and other dips and spreads,
dairy-free cheese,
dairy-free yogurt,
salad
dressing, plant-based eggs, and a pancake and
waffle batter.
Through its investment arm Danone Manifesto
Ventures, Danone also acquired a majority stake
in Harmless Harvest. Founded in 2009, Harmless
Harvest is a maker of organic coconut water and
coconut-based yogurt alternatives. The company
is expected to generate more than $100 million
in sales in 2021, doubling revenue from 2017. CP
Chief executive officer -
Antoine de Saint-Affrique
Danone SA net income
Danone SA net sales
Danone SA share price
per share
€2,349
€1,929
€1,956
€24,651
€25,287
€23,620
€44
€50
€56
€62
€68
2018
72 \ October 2021
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2018
2019
2020
Oct. Dec.
2020
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2021
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Corporate Profiles
in millions of euros
in millions of euros

Corporate Profiles - 2021

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