Paris, France—Danone’s Board of Directors has reviewed the company’s corporate governance and decided to separate the functions of Chairman and CEO, effective upon the appointment of a new CEO, according to a press release.

The review was at the directive of Emmanuel Faber, current Chairman and CEO. The process to recruit a new CEO has been launched; once complete, Faber will focus on his role as Chairman. Until then, the press release says, Faber will "continue as Chairman and CEO, with the full confidence and unanimous support of the Board to exercise full operational responsibility for the company, and to lead the implementation of the adaptation plan Local First."

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The Board of Directors has made other changes intended to strengthen company governance, the press release says, including appointing Gilles Schnepp as Vice-Chairman together with Cécile Cabanis, and entrusting the responsibilities of Lead Independent Director and Chairman of the Governance Committee to Jean-Michel Severino.

Severino stated in the press release: “It is an honor to become the next Lead Independent Director of Danone. I have served the company and its mission as Board Director for the last ten years as member of the CSR Committee and then Chair of the Audit Committee. I thank the Board for entrusting me with this role, which will be of critical importance in the transition phase we are entering. I also look forward to being in charge of continuing a fruitful dialogue with our shareholders.”

Faber added: “I am pleased we took the governance arrangements that will allow us to anticipate the next phase of development of the truly unique company Danone is, as we open, with our Local First plan, a new step towards the company’s reinvention. I want to thank all our shareholders, my colleagues of the Board, our employees, and social partners who contributed to making these decisions emerge. I am convinced they will make the execution of our plan and our mission much stronger.”