| Franck Riboud |
|Alma mater||Lycée Ampère, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne|
|Member of||European Round Table of Industrialists, WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1996|
Second generation Bilderberger businessman
Franck Riboud was born on 7 November 1955 in Lyon. He is the son of Antoine Riboud, the previous CEO, who transformed the former European glassmaker BSN Group into a leading player in the food industry. He attended the Lycée Ampère in Lyon, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
Franck Riboud joined the corporation in 1980 where he successively exercised, until 1989, management control, marketing and sales responsibilities. After having been sales director at Heudebert, in September 1989 he was appointed director of the department responsible for the integration and development of new companies in the 'Biscuits' branch. In July 1990, he was appointed Managing Director of the Evian Mineral Water Company. In 1992, Franck Riboud took on the role of director of the group's development department. Riboud took over the reins at Danone from his father in 1996, although his family only spoke for 1% of Danone's share capital at the time.
In the first half of the 1990s, Danone stepped up its internationalization efforts. Eastern Europe and Asia were the focus, but also southern Africa and Latin America. It acquired pastry manufacturers in the Czech Republic and Russia. Together with an Indian partner, the company took over Nabisco's food business in the Asia-Pacific region; three years later it paid off its Indian partner. The company was also active in China with the help of joint ventures. In 1994 it acquired 49 percent of the shares in Campineira de Alimentos, the second largest Brazilian supplier of biscuits.
In 1996 Danone expanded its involvement in China, it set up five joint ventures with Wahaha. In the same year, a joint venture was started with Coca-Cola, which served to sell Danone yoghurt and Minute Maid until 2000.
In 1997 Danone announced that it would focus on three core business areas: dairy products, cookies and beverages (especially water and beer). Lines of business and brands that did not fit this focus were gradually sold off. The glass business was also further reduced. In the beverage sector, Danone strengthened its water business, particularly in North America, while it sold the majority of its beer activities to Scottish & Newcastle. Danone strengthened its North American water business in 2002 through a collaboration with Coca Cola and Suntory.
In 2001 Danone announced the dismantling of six of its European biscuit factories, which led to high-profile protest rallies in France. In 2002 and 2003, the company narrowed its focus even further. Galbani, its Italian cheese and ham producer, was sold, as well as the remaining shares in the glass business.
From 2004 to 2007 the company gave up its biscuit business, first in 2004 by selling related activities in Great Britain (Jacob's) and Ireland, then in 2007 by selling the remaining activities to Kraft Foods. Market pressure in the US prompted Danone to streamline its water activities there. In May 2005, Danone sold its remaining stake in Mahou. A month later, Danone sold his spicy sauces (HP Foods) to Heinz. The Asian business with the Amoy sauce brand went to Ajinomoto in early 2006.
The realignment was completed with the takeover of Numico, then Europe's largest manufacturer of early childhood nutrition, including the brands Milupa and Nutricia. The Danone business areas for the coming years were largely mapped out: fresh milk products, mineral waters and special foods.
Event Participated in
|Bilderberg/2003||15 May 2003||18 May 2003||France|
|The 51st Bilderberg, in Versailles, France|