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Danone is no longer familiar

Emmanuel Faber, an atypical businessman dedicated to humanitarian causes, takes the reins of the French dairy giant, who for the first time ceases to be in the hands of the owning lineage

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Danone is no longer familiar

Some may have forgotten that Danone was born in 1919 in Barcelona, when Sephardic Isaac Carao, convinced of beneficial properties for health of Lactic Ferments, began to produce first yogurts artisanally in a small local Under a name inspired by diminutive of damage with which affectionately all called his son Daniel, who inherited business and moved to Paris after Civil war.

What few in business world do not know is name of Ribaud, associated indelibly with this brand since almost half a century ago dairy giant passed completely to French hands. It was Ribaud far, Antoine, who merged in 1972 bottling BSN with company Gervais Danone of expensive son. In 1996 second dynastic change in history of Danone occurred, when Franck Ribaud took over company directed up to n by his far following an unusual philosophy in world of high finance: He was convinced that it was possible to reconcile Economic gains with social principles. Now, for first time in its almost a century of history, president of Danone will not be a member of family that owns brand. In what in France has been considered one of business announcements of year, as of December 1, Emmanuel Faber will take witness of company of Franck Ribaud.

Business Humanism
  • bio graphical Data. Emmanuel Faber was born in 1964 in Grenoble. He graduated from HEC Paris (Hautes Études commerciales de Paris).
  • career. Faber began his career at consultancy Bain in 1986 and also worked at Banco Barings and in Legris Industries, before signing at 1997 by Danone.
  • Social Projects. Faber Coprese with Martin Hirsch, Action Tank's social business and Poverty Laboratory, begun in 2010, which brings toger companies, civil and academic organizations with a common goal: to contribute to poverty reduction and exclusion. He is also author of proposals to reorient development aid policies in France.

As much as French press has used grand expressions as a "change of era" or "historical page step", respite in dome does not imply such revolution nor has surprised almost anyone. Faber (Grenoble, 1964) He's no stranger. He has been working at Danone for two decades, ascending to Director general, a position he has since 2014 and will now combine with company's president. It was that year also in which Franck Ribaud — who will remain president of Honor — appointed him as his dauphin. He intended to ensure a smooth transition in a company that has continued to proclaim social principles developed by Antoine Ribaud, a progressive entrepreneur — although he did not like to be called " left-wing pattern" — which claimed to have understood Lessons from May 68 and he declared himself convinced that companies had a social responsibility both with ir workers and in support of sustained development and environmental protection.

The ' Monk-soldier '

Faber's social conviction comes from or side. This fervent Catholic and assiduous to spiritual retreats — French press calls him monk-soldier — he is a tireless and disciplined worker who always goes to office in jeans and with a white shirt, without a tie. Last year, he revealed that what transformed him was death of his bror, who suffered from severe schizophrenia. "I discovered that you could live with few things and be happy." I slept with homeless people once in a while. I visited shanty towns in Delhi, Bombay, Nairobi, in Jakarta, here on outskirts of Paris ... I visited Calais jungle [ refugee camp dismantled a year ago]. And all of that convinced me of one thing: that after all se decades of growth, current challenge of economy, of globalization is social justice. Without social justice re will be no more economy, "proclaimed during a speech to students entrepreneur who earns a millionaire salary, but who promotes couple agreements with small milk producers in Africa or Danone's cooperation with far of Microcredits and Nobel Peace Prize, Muhammad Yunus, to combat child malnutrition in Bangladesh. "What amazes me is time that Faber dedicates to its humanitarian causes when it has responsibility of a global company." Bill Gates waited to retire, "said newspaper Libération his friend Martin Hirsch, High Commissioner of Solidarity in Government of François Fillon.

Because apart from ir social work, Faber has been a key figure in Danone's efforts, which suffered a sharp decline in market share at beginning of decade, to remain a leading food company. Under his command has been designed a plan up to 2020 to increase profits consistently until reaching an annual growth of between 4% and 5%. It has also launched an "efficiency plan" baptized Protein, with which it aims to save up to 1 billion euros up to 2020 and "build a resilient model" to "emerging market volatility" and "milk price inflation," which has already affected its Sales in Europe last year.

Within framework of this strategy we include purchase of $12.5 billion of U.S. dollars specializing in organic dairy and vegetable Origin WhiteWave Foods. With this acquisition, as well as placing itself as leading company in bio products, in which it says see its future, Danone has also managed to double its size in US, a key market to settle its business in view of growing difficulties in or markets such as Chinese .

The effort seems to have been worth it. As Danone announced this month, its sales in third quarter totaled 6.454 billion, 16.6% more than a year earlier. The company employing more than 100,000 workers and distributing its products in 130 countries achieved, in first nine months of year, sales by 18,582,000,000. A fact that routes group to surpass in 2017 almost 22 billion in turnover, with a profit of 1.7 billion, which it achieved in 2016.


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