by Josina Kamerling, Head of Regulatory Outreach at CFA Institute and Paul Dembinski, Director of the Observatoire de la Finance and professor at the University of Fribourg
The departure of Emmanuel Faber, who joined the group in 1997 and took over as CEO in 2014, marks the downfall of one of the most visible advocates for a more responsible capitalism in which companies do not only serve shareholders but also protect the environment, their employees and suppliers. It is important to recall that, since 2019, French law allows companies to take greater consideration of social and environmental issues through the legal status of so-called purpose-driven company or entreprise à mission. Emmanuel Faber was not only supportive of the French law but he managed to turn Danone into a purpose-driven company in 2020, with 99 per cent of shareholders approving the change. In these circumstances, his departure has raised a lively debate and interesting questions, some of which we discuss in this short video.