News – EN – Emmanuel Faber plays his place at the head of Danone – France 24

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Who will lead Danone tomorrow? Will Emmanuel Faber keep the full powers of CEO or will he have to give up ballast, or even leave? The board of directors of the French group meets on Monday, urged by some of its shareholders to look into its governance

Chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber has been facing a sling of shareholders for several weeks The silence of the fifteen other directors of the agri-food giant has cast doubt on their intentions towards him

Two investment funds made the departure of M Faber a prerequisite for the recovery of the group’s performance, whose sales volumes have been eroding for several years, a movement aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic

These funds, which entered the capital thanks to the fall in the stock market price in 2020, hit the nail on the head at the end of last week

Artisan Partners, 3rd shareholder with 3% of the capital, repeated that he found “urgent to take care of the structure of the board and the direction of the company”

While Emmanuel Faber defended with a certain arrogance his balance sheet during the presentation of the annual results on February 19, the fund considers the performance “mediocre” and the management poorly placed to initiate the “reinvention” of Danone

Danone is working on a global reorganization plan providing for up to 2000 job cuts among its managers

The American fund specifies that it wants the appointment of a new president and a new managing director, endowed with “relevant external expertise”

The activist fund Bluebell Capital Partners, based in London and smaller in scope, also calls for a new CEO to be sought outside Danone

According to him, the shareholders of the group are “overwhelmingly” in favor of the separation of the functions of chairman and managing director He threatens to put the subject on the agenda of the next general assembly, at the end of April, if the board of directors does not take it up.

Emmanuel Faber was content to say that he was “not dogmatic” on this question of the separation of functions

Known for defending a capitalism freed from short-termism, greener and more social, Emmanuel Faber has been Managing Director since 2014 and Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2017

On February 19, during the presentation of the results, Emmanuel Faber announced that the remuneration of Danone’s main executives, including his own, would henceforth be partly subordinated to the evolution of dividends and the share price

And on Sunday, on the eve of the board meeting not officially confirmed by Danone, the group announced that it was going to withdraw from dairy giant Mengniu and that the fruits of the operation would be donated. ” in their majority “to the shareholders

Monday morning, on the Paris Bourse, the stock rose around 09:40 (08:40 GMT) by 1.84% to 57.50 euros in a market also on the rise

Worried about seeing investment funds dictate the group’s strategy, several group unions (CFDT, FO and CGC) have given their support to the current governance

Sunday, the president of the FNSEA, the first French agricultural union, Christiane Lambert, was also moved by the situation in a tweet: “Chance of the calendar: 01/03 marks the end of # negotiations between #GMS [ supermarkets and supermarkets] and #industrials under strong pressure to impose further deflations The same day @EmmanuelFaber faces activist funds demanding more profitability for @DanoneFR #producers worried! “

Danone, Mengniu Dairy, Dairy product, Emmanuel Faber

News – EN – Emmanuel Faber is playing his place at the head of Danone – France 24
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Source: https://www.france24.com/fr/info-en-continu/20210301-emmanuel-faber-joue-sa-place-%C3%A0-la-t%C3%AAte-de-danone