Antoine de Saint-Affrique, the soon-to-depart chief executive of Barry Callebaut, is the 'preferred' choice by Danone shareholders to become the group's new CEO, according to reports.
French newspaper Les Echos reported this morning that Danone and Barry Callebaut have even reached agreement on the proposed remuneration that Saint-Affrique would receive as Danone chief executive.
According to the paper, a campaign being organised through social media to have former L'Oréal exec Nathalie Roos installed as chief executive of the food giant is likely to fall short, with Danone shareholders instead preferring Saint-Affrique, whose tenure with chocolate maker Barry Callebaut was due to expire in September.
Danone has not commented on the rumours.
Danone CEO Departure
The former chief executive of Danone, Emmanuel Faber, left his position in March, following criticism from a number of shareholders on the future direction of the business.
Faber had led the business since 2014, later taking on the role of chairman in a combined management position.
At the end of April, Danone said that it was 'making progress' on the appointment of a new CEO, with Jean-Michel Severino, the head of its governance committee, telling the company's annual shareholder meeting, "The number of candidates has narrowed. We are now conducting in-depth discussions with a very limited number of candidates and hope to conclude soon."
Danone posted a 3.3% decline in first-quarter sales, with the pandemic still weighing on its bottled water and baby food departments.