Danone Announces New North America CEO, Plans to Boost EDP Business

The move is part of Danone elevating its Essential Dairy and Plant-Based unit to recognize it as a separate business.

Danone Essential Dairy and Plant-Based products.
Danone Essential Dairy and Plant-Based products.

PARIS — Three years after the acquisition of WhiteWave, Danone is moving into a new chapter for its Essential Dairy and Plant-Based (EDP) business to capture greater growth and value.

Danone Logo1Following the WhiteWave acquisition, the global EDP organization focused on implementing a successful three-year integration program. In that time it established a solid operational backbone, executed a strategy that, for the first time, blended and cross-fertilized the essential dairy and plant-based elements of the category to meet the rising demand from consumers adopting flexitarian diets. In addition, innovation capabilities were upscaled, and importantly, the $300m run-rate synergies plan at the core of WhiteWave’s acquisition was delivered.

EDP North America is Danone’s largest business and the biggest B Corp in the world. The transformation of the EDP business in the region provides now a strong foundation for it to move into a new chapter of growth; one that captures the realities of a fast-changing market. 

In order to achieve this, the EDP global organization is evolving in two ways. Firstly, to elevate EDP North America at Danone executive committee level and strengthen the local focus of its organization, the business will be recognized as a separate business, led by a new appointee. Secondly, the company will also create a Plant-based Acceleration Unit to leverage the power of EDP’s expertise in this area to unleash further growth opportunities across Danone, notably by expanding into new geographies outside North America.

As a result, Shane Grant will join Danone as Executive Vice President and CEO Danone North America, with effect from May 11, to lead the EDP business in that market. He will report to chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber and will be a member of the executive committee. Before joining Danone, Shane Grant spent almost 20 years with The Coca-Cola Company, where he held various leadership roles in marketing, commercial and general management, including SVP Glacéau and President, Coca-Cola Canada before being appointed president of the Still beverages business unit for Coca-Cola North America in January 2019. 

With an ambition to increase plant-based sales worldwide from €2 billion in 2019 to around €5 billion by 2025, the Plant-based Acceleration Unit will be led by Francisco Camacho in addition to his current role in leading Essential Dairy and Plant-Based activities in Europe, Latin America, CIS and Aspame as executive vice president, EDP International.

The Plant-based Acceleration Unit will further expand into new categories, such as coffee, but also by leveraging plant-based expertise in categories outside EDP such as baby food and healthy aging food solutions, and by pivoting more large brands into plant-based. In leading EDP International, Francisco Camacho will continue to drive EDP profitable sales growth internationally, building on the successful turnaround achieved in Europe under his leadership.

"I am grateful to our global and North American EDP teams for the great work achieved over the last 3 years in integrating WhiteWave and our Dairy business in the USA and Canada," said Emmanuel Faber, Danone chairmand and CEO. "With a sequential acceleration of sales growth, and the targeted $300 million synergies already secured, we believe it is the right moment for Danone North America to start another exciting phase of development and to fully participate, as the largest B Corp in the world, to Danone’s sustainable value creation agenda, while deploying our ‘One Planet. One Health’ framework of action."

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