Pierre DEHEUNYNCK

Senior Vice-president, People and Organisation Development, Danone

Seminar Business life | Friday November 09, 2007 - 9h30 - 12h

At a time of mergers and acquisitions, and raids on the stock exchange, the Danone group, started thirty years ago by Antoine Riboud, is a very tempting target. With its well-known brands, global development, and continuous innovations, and in spite of its relatively small size in comparison with other important companies in the food processing industry, it is hardly surprising that the leader in fresh dairy products attracts attention. But is it a potential takeover target ? 'No !' says Franck Riboud. If a takeover were to succeed, it would fail to embody the spirit which makes Danone the unique company that it is and which makes it so attractive. The original philosophy of the company consisted of a mixture of unusual organisational choices, the wish to give managers more responsibility, the flexibility to adapt to market characteristics and, above all, a project which combined economic performance with people in mind. There is no need therefore for sophisticated capitalistic strategies to protect Danone : its prosperity lies entirely in its workforce and its employees' commitment to the group project.

The entire article was written by:

Pascal LEFEBVRE

This session was published in issue n°71 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Cultiver ses racines pour s'ouvrir au monde.