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Danone: Atisan fund wants new CEO ASAP

( - On Friday the Artisan Partners fund called for the appointment of a new CEO in charge of Danone and reiterated its wish to see the functions of CEO and chairman of the board of directors separated.

In a letter sent to the French agri-food group, Artisan calls for the appointment "as soon as possible" of a new CEO who has a "non-financial" profile and a solid experience in the consumer goods sector.

The dissociation of the roles of CEO and chairman of the board of directors is, in its opinion, a prerequisite for the introduction of "modern" corporate governance.

While Danone's board is due to meet early next week to discuss these issues, the Californian fund is also calling for the sale of the brands bought out by the current management team and the departure of the employees it took on.

Denouncing the failure of current management, the Aritsan fund goes straight to the point, saying that given that it is this management team that has led to the disintegration over the past six years, why does the board of directors continue to support it.

The Danone share was trading down over 1.3% on Friday morning, underperforming the CAC 40 by about 1%.

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