Danone's Journey towards Purpose – And the Ousting of Emmanuel Faber
"Let us conduct our businesses with both the heart and the head" – Antoine Riboud, Danone CEO 1972
Antoine Riboud's speech in Marseille came just two years after Milton Friedman's "Shareholder Value Doctrine" article. Riboud's words were in stark contrast to Milton's focus on shareholder value maximization and asked companies, Danone first and foremost, to serve all its stakeholders. Especially in the twenty years from 2001 to 2021, Danone has shown an incredible trajectory towards a purpose-driven company, culminating in the B Corp certification and becoming France' first "Enterprise á Mission".
But in 2021, its CEO, Emmanuel Faber, was pushed out of office by activist investor Bluebell Capital. In this episode, he speaks about this journey and the campaign against him.