French food group Danone moves to boost its board’s independence

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cecile Cabanis, Chief Financial Officer of French food group Danone, arrives to attend a news conference in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) – French food group said on Monday it was naming departing finance chief Cecile Cabanis as non-executive Chairman of the board and appointing three new independent board members in a bid to improve its governance.

Danone, which said the move followed “a phase of active dialogue with shareholders”, said it was setting up a strategy committee to monitor the progress of its global plan to adapt its business to the COVID-19 crisis.

Last month, Danone unveiled plans to cut up to 2,000 jobs, trim product ranges and reorganise its global business to become leaner and more agile in a post-COVID environment.

Danone announced in October that Cabanis would leave her previous role as chief finance officer in February and would be replaced by Juergen Esser, but Cabanis will now remain to take on the new role as non-executive vice chairman.

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