Emmanuel Faber, leader at Danone

The summit is reached. Finally. A victory that is to enjoy to its fair value, this experienced mountaineer. On the 1st of December, Emmanuel Faber will officially take up the position of president and CEO of Danone. And successor to Franck Riboud. Now alone at the top of the world leader in fresh dairy products, Mr. Faber, age 53, becomes first rope guiding behind him 100 000 employees. “A moving moment “, he says.

Three years ago, he claimed to have asked fifteen days of reflection before accepting the proposal of Mr. Riboud to become director-general, last camp before the summit ridge. A time period deemed necessary for tying. And say ready to succeed in the balancing act to which he aspires : to be a man working towards a better world, and a great patron of the CAC 40 at the head of a flagship of French industry.

There is nothing like this time. The tempo has accelerated. Mr. Riboud, who had decided to do a bit of the way to the sides of Mr. Faber, has chosen to permanently switch the hand earlier than expected. With eighteen months ahead of the original schedule, he loose the presidency. And closes a chapter in the history of Danone, which began in 1996, when he succeeded his father, Antoine.

If Franck Riboud likes to tell have picked up this post by ” accident “, we cannot say as much of Mr. Faber. As this mountain in the eyes glacier blue, who has spent his tray Gap, has never hidden his ambition to reach the highest levels. And has left nothing to chance to achieve this. At Danone, of course, but also in the approach that preceded it.

His HEC diploma in his pocket, he made his first weapons in strategy consulting at Bain & Company and then in the merchant bank Baring Brothers in London. But in the thirties, as a young general manager of a family business, Legris Industries, he is spotted by headhunters. The doors of Danone open then….

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